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5 Ways You Can Give Back This Christmas

always feel like a bit of a dick around Christmas. I spend all this time running around like a lunatic buying presents, organising to see everyone while I’m home for the holidays, complaining about having to spend the equivalent of three days in the car and then I feel like a tool for not realising how bloody lucky I am. If you’re in the same boat here’s a few things you can do to give back this Christmas…

Christmas background with chalkboard and presents.Retro filter effect

Donate unused clothing and toys 

It’s the perfect excuse to have a big clean out and you can take toys to hospitals, family services and children’s care facilities, all of which would be stoked to receive a donation so close to Christmas. It’s also the perfect time to drop off clothing and other useful items to the Salvation Army – it’s this time of year that they need donations the most, so chuck a few bags in your car next time you’re out and about and drop them off in your local charity bins.

Give blood

I cannot stress the importance of this enough – I booked Mr Smaggle and myself in last Friday because accidents always increase during the holidays. That’s why we have highly advertised road tolls for each state in Australia over Christmas. It only takes about half an hour and your blood will literally save lives. The Red Cross always need donations, particularly at this time of year so make sure you book in. You get little chocolates and flavoured milk too which always awesome. Post-blood donation snacks are the bomb. 


There are so many ways you can volunteer – you can help out at soup kitchens, animal shelters, care facilities – for more information visit Volunteering Australia. It’s the perfect thing for people who are away from family, don’t have family or don’t really like their family… seriously if I hated my family I’d be ditching them for a nursing home and I’d be hanging out with all the rad oldies and telling them scandalous stories. 

Adopt a Christmas orphan

If you know of someone who might be spending Christmas alone why don’t you invite them to spend Christmas with you? Or plan a Christmas for a whole lot of people who don’t have plans? 

Donate money to a charity instead of buying token gifts

If you end up spending $20 here and there on useless obligatory gifts that no one really needs, you might like to consider donating money to a charity instead of buying endless boxes of chocolates and cheap scented candles. CAREgifts is a brilliant place to start but there are hundreds of others like Careflight, Oxfam RSPCA and Send Hope Not Flowers who would appreciate donations much more than that random work colleague would appreciate a box of K-Mart chocolate.

Do you volunteer around Christmas? Or teach your kids about giving back in the holidays?

Oh and here are all the ways you can follow Smags around the joint in case you’re interested –  FacebookTwitterBloglovinInstagram and the Smaggle weekly newsletter. You could also hang around outside my house but that would be weird.


  1. Alix 8 years ago

    Snap – loving all these ideas and doing quite a few of them. I wasn’t a fan of family christmas for a long time and one of the best fun years I had was serving Christmas lunch with the Salvation Army – highly recommended. This year we’re hosting a raggle taggle gypsy Christmas lunch – ie if you don’t have anywhere else to go, come to our place. A real mish-mash and I can’t wait!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Oh that sounds bloody lovely! I have a huge family on both my parent’s sides so I’m always set for Christmas but if I ever find myself at a loose end I’d totally volunteer! Or crash one of the many orphans Christmases my friends host!

  2. KezUnprepared 8 years ago

    YES. I love this post. I do the donating and buying charity gifts thing. It’s so rewarding to give and to remember what this time of year should really be about. It also sets a great example for your kids (and the grown ups who drive us mental each year with their whining and materialistic jibbering haha) x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I do need to do that actually! I like to buy something every year for a giving tree and I haven’t got around to it yet this year. Might wait until I’m in Canberra – might be a touch quieter than Melbourne!

  3. Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie 8 years ago

    Yes, love it all! I’d also add to try and buy as many of your gifts from charities, fair trade stores, social enterprises and the like because that way your presents are giving back too which means everyone wins.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      That’s a great idea! I’m only wrapping presents in Frankie Magazine wrapping and pages this year – I hate buying new wrapping paper only to have it torn off immediately!


  1. […] That doesn’t always involve giving gifts (and for some ideas about non-gifts, have a look at Smaggle’s post from today about how to give back). […]

  2. […] Teachers honestly don’t expect presents but most teachers would prefer any parent money to spent on something useful like a chicken or goat for a family in need rather than a hastily bought stocking stuffer style gift. If you want to give back this Christmas here are a few things you can do.  […]

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