Life never tugs on our purse strings quite as hard as it does at Christmas. I always feel for my sister at this time of year, with two young girls to buy for, and the pressure of making the festive season magical for them. There’s a feeling that we have to out-do ourselves, to give more than last year, to spoil the ones we love.
So why is it that, even though we have less to spare, we give more to charity at Christmas than at any other time of year?
Perhaps it is the giving spirit all around us. Perhaps it is habit. Or perhaps it is the guilt that comes with enjoying a little booze-soaked, deep-filled, butter-basted luxury. There’s relief in knowing that, even if your aunt doesn’t have use for £14 worth of hand cream, some of the gifts we give won’t just be wanted – they’ll be needed.
And of course, in these troubling times, so much is needed.
So I am going to make my New Year’s resolution early. I am going to try to give more – not just at Christmas, but when I’m asked. When it’s needed. In those moments when I feel so overwhelmingly lucky to live the life I do, I will endeavour to share my good fortune with others.
And I invite you to join me. Let’s keep saying ‘yes’ when we’re asked – be it for money, time or even old clothes. Let’s keep the giving spirit going in 2016. I have a feeling the world is going to need it.