Giving At Christmas

If you are trying to get organised for Christmas, check out my 10 Week Christmas Plan. Only 4 weeks left until Christmas!

On my Christmas Planning Checklist, this week’s activity was: Toys for giving / find somewhere to volunteer. This year with organising the craft stall for my childrens school, I have become a little behind on some things, like the ironing, organising birthday parties and some general home organisation. It had been my intention to have spent some time investigating volunteer options for around Christmas time, that my eldest son and I could do. Unfortunately this has not happened, and with the school Christmas Craft stall and two birthdays in the next two weeks, it just isn’t going to happen.

We will still conduct a toy rationalisation, which will incorporate the children donating good quality toys to Vinnies. But to make up for not volunteering I wanted to do a bit extra. We had some fabric kindly donated to the school for the craft group. We have used what we can and still had quite a bit left ofter. I remembered that I saw a tweet from @catebolt some time ago asking for fabric, so sent off a tweet to Cate to see if she still needed fabric and have since had it couried up to Queensland.


Cate is part of project18, which is a not for profit organisation that is raising funds to set up an orphanage and a sanctuary in Indonesia.

The plan is to establish an orphanage on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. When complete the village will consist of 18 x 3 bedroom homes, each housing up to 8 children and a house mother. The system is based on effective plans in Africa, where the children are raised in a loving family environment, rather than in huge dormitories with 40+ children to a room. – Orphanage Village, project18

Our program intends to include a conservation program, whereby each child who schools with us will have wildlife conservation as a key learning outcome, and the children will be able to participate in a refuge program for displaced animals. We hope that by getting these children up-close and personal with this amazing wildlife, and instilling an understanding or the importance of wildlife conservation, they will be more inclined to carry that with them into their future lives. – Wildlife Refuge and Reforestation, project18

You too can support project18, by doing some of your Christmas shopping at their online shop, or by donating directly to the organisation, or by volunteering your time. Check out the Get Involved page of their website.

Hopefully next year I will be a little more organized and spend some time volunteering. I would love to here what charitable activities you support at Christmas.


  1. says

    This year we’re giving a fair few “world vision” type gifts. We area also in the process of doing a toy cull. We usually do wishing tree type gifts, but are very short of spare $$ this year, so unless I find something suitable in my present box, we won’t be doing that. Another one we used to do as a family was lifeline gift wrapping. We all especially loved doing the 23rd’s midnight trading (we’re still in backward qld where only one centre is open all night) as a family.

    Alas, again, this year, time is rather short and because I’ve been so focused on uni we’ve not even thought about it. Along with a few other things happening in the next few weeks.

    We volunteer all year round though through Lions, and Kiki was sooo chuffed yesterday when we saw a guide dog being “shown” around the uni, so his blind person could go next year. We put money in the “money dog” every time we shop, so it was lovely to see the outcome and Kiki can now relate it to something tangible.

  2. Monique says

    Hi Nicole, I always love reading your emails and your many fantastic thoughts and ideas. For many years now we have donated at Christmas to the Kmart wishing tree. The kids choose a child of the same age and gender and with an allocated budget, spend alot of time and thought putting together a gift they think the child would like (with a new baby this year, I will be choosing a gift on behalf of bubs). The wishing tree is something they love doing every year. I started doing it when they were very young and it is now part of our family Christmas tradition. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Christmas!

  3. says

    Good on your for letting this slip off your todo list … not that I don’t think volunteering is important – it certainly is – but with five kids one of whom is still a baby sanity needs to prevail!

    There will be other Christmases, and other times of year, to do volunteering.

    When Munchkin is older I will do the Westfield ‘wishing trees’ like Monique did – we did as teenagers and I have carried on doing it myself as an adult. I wouldn’t want to introduced Munchkin to this until she is much older (at least 7 in the Steiner tradition) as I don’t want to burden her with the idea of poverty at this young age. I think its very very important to develop a social conscience, but important to do this at an age where a child can emotionally and mentally process it!

  4. says

    We did our toy cull this week. I’ve given all our Fisher Price Little People toys to Heidi’s Early Intervention Centre. They were looking for toys that are sturdy, still in complete sets and not damaged. I was so grateful to be able to do something with my girls that gave back directly to a charity that has helped us so very much.

  5. planningqueen says

    Kin – Volunteering all year round on top of your study and everything else is quite inspirational!

    Monique – So lovely to see your first comment, thanks! I had completely forgotten about the Kmart Wishing tree. I love family traditions like that.

    Marita – I am sure they will love the Little People, they are such great toys.

  6. says

    I love how encouraging you are – it is so lovely to give.
    Our church makes up hampers and vouchers to give to single parent families (that’s about all the christmas shopping I’ve do so far!)Hopefully I’ll also have time to help wrap and deliver these gifts.
    And I’ve bought packets of new nickers for local womens refuges. – If anyone has contact with a refuge check if they too need nickers – many women flee horrific situations in just their pjs.
    Merry Christmas and enjoy giving.

  7. planningqueen says

    The nickers are a great idea. Our school did a collection of new nickers and socks after the Black Saturday Fired in Victoria earlier this year. They are always needed!