By now we’re likely in full flight in what is often called the most wonderful time of the year; a time for office parties, gatherings with family members and spending quality moments with people we love; the sweet aroma of cocoa tea brewing or the houses and trees overlaid with blinding Christmas lights. Wow! It’s enough to get you excited. But the festivities for personal enjoyment should not be our only focus. We should also think about those who don’t have the means to celebrate. This pandemic has left many with financial woes, depression and loneliness. That means we all must make a special effort this holiday season to help the needy.

Support Small Businesses

Many small business owners are still trying to escape the disruptive effects of the pandemic. Thankfully, the Christmas excitement puts us in a spending mood. This holiday season, why not buy your decorations, Christmas dinner ingredients or home appliances from independent retailers in your community? Who knows? You just might find some hidden gems along the way. If can’t offer financial support, not to worry. A glorious benefit of living in the technological era is that it’s easier to engage with these small businesses on social media. Each time you share posts about a local business, you’re helping to bolster its social media presence and attract new customers.

Buy Gifts that Give Back

You can support business ventures that give a portion of their revenue to charitable causes. One such entity is SwiftGift, an online “gift and give card” platform that allows Jamaicans to donate to local and international charities as they do their regular Christmas shopping.
Let your charitable deed extend to the environment by going green with sustainable gifts like recyclable wine glasses or crafting pieces of jewellery with recycled items. You could also invest in reusable bags to shop. No questions asked!

Donate To A Local Charity

It’s easy for those of us with jobs and a paycheck to get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays. For someone with no home or little access to food, however, this season can be very stressful. Donating is a great way to put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas. You can donate everything from clothing to bedding, from food to toys. Check with your local charities like Food for the Poor, Mustard Seed Communities, Missionaries of the Poor and Operation Save Jamaica, to see what you can give. If you can’t donate material things donate your time? Spend some time at a nursing home our sing some Christmas carols to children without families.

Call Up A Friend/Acquaintance

You can also offer genuine encouragement, reassurance and compassion to those who may be feeling lonely this holiday season. Call and check up on that friend you haven’t spoken to in years. The Healthline suggests that a healthy balance of asking questions, listening to, validating and avoiding judgment are recipes for offering wholesome emotional support. Allow them to vent. Don’t get caught up with giving advice.
Many of us can be so immersed in the holiday festivities that we become short-sighted and forget the true spirit of the holidays – a time for community, love, warmth and togetherness. All these virtues are found in being charitable. So, make this a Christmas to remember by making the world a happier place through your giving.

Want to learn more about mental health support? Read this blog from the Healthline:

Visit SwiftGift Jamaica @:

Charity Organizations pages:
Food for the Poor:
Mustard Seed Communities:
Missionaries of the Poor:
Operation Save Jamaica:


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