Is it too early to talk about Christmas?
One of the things the ROC staff love about Christmas are the films that only seem appropriate to watch in these next few weeks before Christmas. We have a few favourites: ‘Elf’ starring Will Ferrell is high up on our watch list as well as the first two home alone films (the ones starring Macaulay Culkin).
But obviously, no Christmas film selection is complete without at least one version of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and, to be honest, one of our favourites is the Muppets version of the classic Victorian story. (Seriously, Michael Caine as Scrooge awkwardly dancing with felt puppets is amazing!)
Whether you prefer the Muppet’s version, the animated Jim Carrey version, one of the many live-action versions or your favourite version is the original novel, we can all agree there is a powerful message in the story.
This message is perfectly summed up in a monologue given by Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, after Scrooge rebukes Fred for his fondness of celebrating Christmas. He says:
“But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round … as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Speech by Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.
It’s hard to read those words written by Dickens almost 175 years ago and not have a deep conviction to help those less fortunate at Christmas.
As you’ll know, ROC’s primary aim is to equip people of goodwill to change their communities. And so, in this season of goodwill, we want to encourage you, as a person of goodwill, to make a difference to someone in your community.
To help do this, we have compiled a list of quick & easy ways you can help someone this Christmas – many of the ideas on this list are free and will only cost you a small amount of time to bless someone this Christmas:
- Take flowers to the nurse’s station at your local hospital – the nurses will know who needs them most.
- Take lunch or cakes to your local fire and/or police station.
- Donate stuffed animals to police and fire stations to use during emergencies to help calm frightened children.
- Buy extra shopping for the local food bank.
- Sing Christmas Carols, play board games, or visit seniors at a nursing home.
- Buy dessert for someone eating out alone.
- Purchase some extra dog or cat food and drop it off at an animal shelter.
- Hand out gloves and hats to the homeless, or leave them on park benches.
- Bring coffee to construction workers, police on duty, or anyone working outside.
- Pay for the coffee, the toll, or the bus fare for the person behind you.
- Sing an employee’s praises to a manager or on a comment card — a little recognition goes a long way.
- Help someone load their shopping.
- Pay for someone’s shopping behind you in line.
- Volunteer an afternoon at a soup kitchen.
- Put a nice comment on someone’s webpage or social account that you really like or admire.
- Drop off a toy or game at a hospital or a homeless shelter.
- Donate colouring books and boxes of new crayons to the paediatric wing of a hospital.
- Invite someone you suspect will be alone to spend your Christmas celebrations with you.