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    Premier Christian Radio Your voice of hope!

Alternative Christmas Ideas

Background

With so many of us facing more challenges than ever before, we want to offer you some alternatives which might help you and those around you find new ways of enjoying this season of hope.

A Green Christmas

How can we save the planet while we celebrate the birth of the saviour of the planet? 

Deborah Tomkins is Co-Chair of the environmental group Green Christian. Here, she gives some tips on having an environmentally friendly Christmas.  

Here are a few ways to reduce waste and save money this Christmas: 

• Much of what is bought for Christmas ends up wasted, so limit how much you spend. 

• When giving gifts, try reusable options to wrapping paper, such as gift bags.

• Consider going for an artificial Christmas tree instead of a real one. 

You can find more green tips at 

https://www.clearcommunity.org/eco-christmas-save-waste-and-money 

Social Media Handles

 

Bereaved – Juliet Fletcher

Juliet Fletcher lost her mother in March. They always spent Christmases together in one form or other, and now Juliet isn’t sure what her first Christmas without her mum will be like. 

Bianca Neumann works for the palliative care charity Sue Ryder. She’s an expert on how grief plays on the mind – not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year. Here, Juliet and Bianca both share some thoughts on how to deal with the loss of a loved one at Christmas.

If someone you know is grieving during this festive season, then:

• Allow them some space for grief. Let them cry or vent if they need to.

• Be there for them. 

• See Sue Ryder’s ‘Grief kind’ campaign for more practical advice on supporting a bereaved person. https://www.sueryder.org/how-we-can-help/bereavement-information/grief-kind/griefkindclasses .  

For more practical tips, see: https://www.hospiscare.co.uk/how-we-help/advice-support/information-about-grief/how-to-cope-with-grief-at-christmas/ 

Social Media Handles

Twitter: @JuFletch 

Facebook: facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064511539470 

 

Bereaved – Tolu

As we look at bereavement and Christmas, Tolu Adepegba tells of how her family had to invent new Christmas traditions after her grandmother died five years ago. 

Joining her, we have Bianca Neumann from the palliative care charity Sue Ryder, with advice on how to help people cope with the loss of a loved one at Christmas. 

If someone you know is grieving during this festive season, then:

• Allow them some space for grief. Let them cry or vent if they need to.

• Be there for them. 

• See Sue Ryder’s ‘Grief kind’ campaign for more practical advice on supporting a bereaved person – https://www.sueryder.org/how-we-can-help/bereavement-information/grief-kind/griefkindclasses .

Social Media Handles

 

Christmas As A Single Dad

Children are a huge part of the joy of Christmas. So if you’re a single parent and it’s not your turn to have the kids this Christmas, the whole season can feel really empty. 

Ian Doel is a father of two and a member of MusicFootballFatherhood – the men’s group that’s been nicknamed “the Mumsnet for dads”. Here he tells us about the challenges involved in being a single dad at Christmas.

Ian’s top tips for single parents at Christmas

• Try and make it as happy a Christmas as possible for the kids, even when you’re not with them.

• Take some time out for yourself if you need to.

• Remember – there are people who want you around, so don’t shut them all out.

For more advice for single parents at Christmas, see: https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/information/holidays-and-special-occasions/christmas/your-first-christmas-as-a-single-parent/ 

https://www.singleparentsonholiday.co.uk/our-top-10-tips-on-how-to-survive-christmas-as-a-single-parent/ 

Website & Social Media Handles

• Twitter: @MFFonline_

linktr.ee/musicfootballfatherhood

instagram.com/MFFonline_/

facebook.com/MFFonline

 

Christmas For The Self Employed

Even if you’re now completely sold on working from home, you’ve got to admit, Christmas does make the office a fun place to work. Secret Santas! Endless mince pies and Quality Streets! Christmas Jumper Day! And the big one: the office Christmas do! The run-up to Christmas is one of those things that make working in the office special. But what if you’re self-employed? 

The author, Lauren Windle, is one of the thousands of freelancers working in Britain today. Here she is, with some tips on how to re-create that office Christmas feeling when you work on your own.

• If you’re part of a workspace, see if they do any Christmas parties for their users.

• Team up with other freelancers and have a Christmas party together.

Website & Social Media

 

Christmas on a tight budget

With all the increases we’ve had in our energy bills and the cost of living generally, there’s one burning question many will struggle with as we head to Christmas: How do I feed everyone a good Christmas dinner, and how do I get everyone decent presents when I can hardly afford any of it? 

If that’s you, then have a listen as George Luke meets some experts with advice on how we can stretch our money and make this Christmas an affordable one.

So, if you’re feeling the pinch this Christmas (aren’t we all), here are a few tips for you: 

• Avoid getting into debt. Resist the temptation to buy stuff on credit if money is tight.

• Give gifts that don’t involve over-spending, such as acts of service, or home made gifts. Find out if your community has a Toy Bank, for free toys for children. 

• Community fridges distribute good quality food free of charge and are a good source for Christmas dinner ingredients. To find out if there is one near you, click on –  https://www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge .

Website & Social Media Handles

Dan Slatter, Chief Executive, FareShare Sussex

facebook.com/FareShareSussex/

• Twitter: @FareShareUK

instagram.com/faresharesussex/

Nigel Gordon, Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

facebook.com/CAPuk

• Twitter: @CAPuk

instagram.com/capuk_org/

 

Christmas While Single

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but not necessarily if you’re single!

 Lauren Windle is a journalist, author and broadcaster who speaks and writes extensively about singleness in the Church. She’s seen first-hand how alienating some church and family traditions can be for single people. Here, she offers some advice on we can make our Christmas celebrations more single person-friendly.

Lauren says:

• Find ways to involve the single people you know in your Christmas preparations.

• If you’re single, use this time to do the things you might not be able to do if you were married. 

• Lauren gives more advice here: https://www.womanalive.co.uk/opinion/christmas-as-a-single-person-is-hard-but-youre-not-on-your-own/5830.article 

Website & Social Media

 

Christmas With A Disability

Christmas can be a stressful time for anyone, but that stress escalates very quickly for people with disabilities. 

Leanna Benjamin is a writer, broadcaster and disability rights activist. Here she shares some of her experiences of trying to make Christmas happen when you have a disability. 

Some of her tips include: 

• If access is an issue, see if friends and family can come to you.

• Don’t overwork yourself.

• Have your Christmas celebrations at a time of the year that works best for you – not necessarily on 25 December!

See these web resources for more tips: 

https://handicare-stairlifts.co.uk/handicare/news-advice/christmas-with-disabled-children/ 

https://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/news-item/5-tips-for-a-christmas-that-works-for-everyone/ 

Website

LeannaBenjamin.com

 

Warm Spaces / Warm Banks

In response to rising energy bills and the cost of living generally causing for many people, many businesses and other organisations across the country have started to open up their buildings just so that people have a bit of warmth without running up their fuel bills. They’re called ‘warm banks’. 

George Luke spoke to Peter Moreton, Creative Director of Applecart Arts in Newham, East London, and to Mark Stafford, Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Ewell. Both Peter and Mark have opened their buildings to the public to use as warm spaces. 

• The Warm Welcome campaign is helping churches, community groups, businesses and councils set up warm banks across the country. Click on this link to see Warm Welcome’s map with all the warm banks listed, to find the one closest to you: https://www.warmwelcome.uk/#find-a-space .

• If you can’t find a warm bank near you on Warm Welcome’s map, have a look on your local council’s website. 

• If no joy with that, then contact your council directly.

Website & Social Media Handles

Peter Moreton, Creative Director, Applecart Arts

• Twitter: @ApplecartArts

instagram.com/applecartarts/

facebook.com/ApplecartArts

Mark Stafford, Vicar, St Mary’s Ewell/ACTS435

stmarysewell.com

facebook.com/stmarysewell

instagram.com/stmarysewell/

www.acts435.org.uk/our-mission/how-we-work/

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