An Alternative Christmas

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Three Buddhist Monks walking across a wooden bridge

If this is your first Christmas on your own, or if you are as bah-humbug about the whole event as I am, we’ve discovered some alternative ways to spend your time during the festive period and some ways to avoid Christmas altogether.


Christmas has become a time of indulgence, but you could indulge your charitable side instead by volunteering at Christmas. It’s also a great way to meet new people, although we’re not suggesting that you should openly flirt with your fellow volunteers.

It’s a good idea to contact a charity as far in advance of the big day as possible, so that you can receive the relevant training and information to make sure that you are fully prepared.

Crisis is well known for providing a hot meal for homeless people at Christmas; however the charity also needs hairdressers, dentists, logistics officers and dog handlers as well as a whole host of other skilled professionals to help out during the festive period.

Another charity that needs extra volunteers at Christmas is the WRVS, who organise Christmas meals where people can socialise, as well as providing meals on wheels for those who cannot get out and about.

For a range of volunteering opportunities during the Christmas season from manning helplines through to loading vans with presents for children or helping to look after animals, visit TimeBank or Charity Choice to find charities in your local area.

Try your hand at conservation

If you fancy a bit of luxury with your volunteering, TCV offers a conservation project at the beautiful Belvoir Castle near Grantham.

Take a holiday to a Christmas free country

If you truly want to get away from it all, then there are a number of countries across the world where December 25th is just another day, including Morocco, Thailand, Jordan and Japan. If your wallet can stretch to it, take in a new adventure, rather than an over-sized piece of Christmas pudding.

However, if you’re budget is more Thai curry, than Thailand you could always venture to a local restaurant run by individuals who don’t celebrate Christmas and enjoy an alternative to turkey and gravy.

Get back to work

Although Christmas is an official bank holiday, it doesn’t mean that everyone has the day off. If you’re a livestock farmer for example you can’t just leave your animals to their own devices because it’s a bank holiday. Once you’ve finished all your tasks for the day, sit back and enjoy the fact that you’ve got the perfect excuse to avoid all those Christmas rows and dreadful television programmes.

Do you get excited from the moment you hear the first Christmas carol of the year or do you vow to boycott every shop that dares to erect a Christmas tree in November? Join the discussion on Facebook.