If you hit the shops on Black Friday or logged on looking for deals on Cyber Monday, you might have spent all of your Christmas shopping budget already.
But if you’re looking for a break from the consumerism, there are plenty of ways you can give something back.
You can celebrate the start of the giving season by donating money or even just some of your time to charity. But with Christmas just a few days away, are we more likely to be tightening our belts or getting swept away in the generous spirit of the season?
According to research* carried out for us, people aged between 45 and 54 are the least likely to give to charity, with half of respondents from this age group saying that they don’t make regular donations. This was despite the fact that it is the ‘peak earning’ age group, when people tend to be bringing home the most money.
However, middle-aged people usually have more financial commitments than younger people, such as a mortgage or adult children going to university. Charitable giving could drop even more around Christmas as money becomes tight – although this may be when charities actually need donations the most.
If committing to donate £5 or £10 a month is out of your budget, find little ways to give instead. Toy retailer The Entertainer offers you the option to round up to the nearest pound when you buy anything, with the leftover change being donated to charity. Even putting your loose change into a charity bucket can help.
You don’t even have to give a monetary donation, as not all charitable contributions are financial. Going to donate blood or making something to sell for a Christmas bake sale could help to make a difference.
Consider giving to local or smaller charities, as these can often be more in need of donations as they can be overlooked sometimes. Your money can make a real difference to smaller causes as well, so it can be rewarding to see the work your donation is doing. Just be sure that when you’re donating around Christmas, you verify it’s a real charity by checking its charity number. Scammers may rely on your festive spirit to get you to donate to a fake charity, so make sure you’re donating to a worthy cause.
Ocean’s Win the Tin campaign to give £5,000 to a smaller charity has now ended, so if you want to see who won or read more about it you can do so here.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 6th June and 16th June 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.