This year, I'm making an effort to give more than I receive, to make more than I buy, and to recycle more than I throw away. It isn't just a gift for now, this year, but a gift to our children, and their future.
This year, T is spending Christmas with her Dad, so we will be child free here. I decided to take the opportunity to do a big chunk of volunteering, including Christmas Day itself.
I started by calling as many people as I could find. It was amazing ... organisations either aren't doing anything for Christmas, didn't know what needed to be done or who to contact, or just couldn't think of something I might be able to help with. Or, worse, they'd be uncertain. They would promise to call back (sometimes multiple times), and then just never would. Anyone would think that we didn't have homeless or hungry or unfortunate in Canberra.
There was one thing that made me happy though. While looking for something, I put a message on Twitter asking if anybody knew of organisations looking for help. I didn't get any organisations popping up asking for volunteers, but I did get four or five people all say, "I don't know of anything, but if you find something let me know, and I'll come too." The upshot is that now I have a small band of Christmas Elves willing to spread cheer and goodwill, and nowhere to send them to do so.
Thankfully, we have found one place that needs our help, Communities@Work have asked us to help with hamper packing in the week before Christmas, which is bound to be a whole lot of fun. But at the moment, it seems I'll be hanging around at home twiddling my thumbs on Christmas Day. Because I absolutely refuse to give in to the consumerist version of Christmas, and I'm agnostic and won't be partaking in the religious model of the day, I guess I'll get some housework done.
If you know of anyone who does need some volunteer help (in Canberra preferably, but I'll consider Sydney too), send me an email won't you?