Christmas at Expert Home Tips: a time for giving, but not as you know it.
This year, we're bypassing the jam-packed shops, long queues and excessive spending in favour of something a little different - this year, we're having a charitable Christmas.
Expert Home Tips are partnering up with Rainbow Trust charity to show you how to gift, laugh and love as festively as ever this Christmas, whilst also helping to give support to those who really need it.
How can you help?
With their wide range of products - ideal for Christmas gifts - fabulous fundraising ideas and special Christmas appeal, adding a sprinkle of 'good-for-all' to your Christmas this year couldn't be easier.
Try some of these ideas to make this a truly charitable Christmas
Give gifts that keep on giving
The Rainbow Trust's online shop is stocked full of wonderful gifts to give to your loved ones this Christmas. Here are some of our favourites:
History Heroes charity card game
What better way to learn than through play? Give your little ones the gift of knowledge this year with this genius card game. It includes forty fantastically illustrated cards, each representing a Child Hero throughout history, dates, their flag of birthplace and seven facts about them.
This is an award-winning history card game, so is guaranteed to be a hit in your house this Christmas.
Vibrant, Rainbow Trust T-shirts
Can you ever have enough sloganed t-shirts? We thought not. Rainbow Trust's own comes in seven, eye-catching colours - perfect for a personalised gift this Christmas.
Priced at just six pounds and in an easy-to-roll fabric, they make the perfect stocking fillers and are a great way to both support, and promote the charity.
Rainbows Through Clouds book
A Rainbow Trust exclusive, this lovely little book is full of uplifting poems and readings to promote positivity and happiness - it's seeing the 'rainbows through clouds.'
While it's impossible to always be there to support your nearest and dearests, when you can't be present, this book can - a thoughtful addition to any stocking.
Charitable Christmas cards
Choosing charitable Christmas cards is an easy way to support Rainbow Trust. This year, Paperchase are donating £1 from the sale of their box of 30 charity cards to the various charities supported by them, including Rainbow Trust.
Not only are the cards themselves beautiful, but they're reasonably priced at £6 - who can argue with that?
Give the gift of chance with a Christmas Raffle ticket
One of our readers at Expert Home Tips, Pauline L, recently left us a comment saying she likes to buy a lottery ticket for the adults each Christmas - a fun and sometimes extremely rewarding gift to give! I loved this idea, and what better chance to give than a charitable one?
Rainbow Trust have their very own raffle running this year, with some amazing prizes as follows:
- 1st prize: Trip for 2 to New York
- 2nd prize: £500 cash
- 3rd prizes: 5 x £50 cash
Tickets are £1 each, in books of five.
If you would like to sell some tickets to your colleagues, family or friends please email Tina.
Raffle draw – Monday 16 January 2017
A raffle ticket is a truly unique gift idea that all your friends and family are bound to enjoy.
Get the family together and fundraise while you're at it
All those Christmas parties you're planning to hold this Christmas - why not make them extra special by spreading the joy even further? Incorporating fundraising into festive events is a great way to entertain your guests in an unusual, inventive way - not to mention give support to this amazing cause.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Hold a Christmas-wrapping service
Mums, Dads and gift-givers get busier than ever on the run-up to Christmas. Why not help them and Rainbow Trust Family Support Workers by holding a gift-wrapping service in your local village or town this year?
Speak to your local council and plan to set up camp close to the shops, with a few, basic rolls of wrapping paper, strings and tape and offer the service on a donation-basis.
Not only will you be fundraising for a fab cause, but it's also an inventive and unique way to bond and laugh with friends over the festive period - you can still treat yourselves to a glass of mulled wine when the wrapping's done, don't you worry.
Bake up a batch of Christmas cookie decorations
Getting the kids involved with a spot of baking is a great way to improve their listening skills, get them working together, and - most importantly - have a load of fun.
This year, Rainbow Trust have produced their very own Christmas cookie recipe - find out how to make them in the video below. With cinnamon, ginger and muscovado sugar, it's a sweet, spiced treat perfect for the Christmas season. You can opt to pierce holes through each one, making them ideal decorations, or - if you can't wait - eat them as they come.
If you're using them as decorations, donate the money you would have spent on expensive baubles to Rainbow Trust, or better still, keep the lessons going by encouraging your little ones to offer them to your neighbours in exchange for a donation.
I made my very own batch to bring into the Expert Home Tips office, with us each making a donation. They were extremely easy to make and with their sweet spices, definitely got us feeling festive.
Donations, donations, donations
In order for Rainbow Trust to work their magic this Christmas, they need your help. The money donated means support can be provided for families 24/7 during this stressful time of year - whether it's keeping the kids busy whilst Mum makes dinner, or simply being a shoulder to cry on.
If you want to give the gift that keeps on giving, sponsoring a Family Support Worker for the year is the way to do it. Giving a small amount on a regular basis helps ensure reliable and regular care and support is available for children with a life-threatening or terminal illness, as well as their families.
If you want to see how much of a difference a small, regular donation can make, watch how Family Support Worker, Amelia, helps Erika, Phoebe and Hope and their parents live a fulfilled, manageable life.
Perhaps the most personal of all the donations, you'll not only receive full family stories, but also regular updates from Family Support Workers and two Rainbow Trust magazines a year to show you how your donations are making a real difference every day.
Extend the love further than ever this year: sign-up to give regularly on the Rainbow Trust site today.
Thinking charitably ahead...
New Years may seem a long way off right now, but blink, and it'll be upon us.
If you're guilty of joining the 'new year, new me' fitness bandwagon each January, this one is for you. What better way to stay motivated, than to sign-up to a sporty event on behalf of Rainbow Trust charity?
Not only will you have dedicated support to help you achieve your goal, but you'll also benefit from inspirational fundraising advice and materials, a bright Rainbow Trust t-shirt or running vest, and perhaps most importantly, a valuable reason never to quit.
You can apply to take part in many events such as the Silverstone Half Marathon, Three Peaks Challenge or Climb Kilimanjaro and commit to raising a certain amount for Rainbow Trust, or opt to do your own challenge, independently fundraising for the charity.
Focussing in on Rainbow Trust Children's Charity
Rainbow Trust Children's Charity provides emotional and practical support to 2,000 families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.
For these families, day-to-day life and the very real prospect that their child may die can be very tasking, something the charity aims to make easier. Their network of Family Support Workers provide a life line for the families that are struggling to cope - available 24/7, they support the family as a whole, including parents, carers, the unwell child, siblings and grandparents.
The support given varies from family to family, depending on their individual needs. But whether at home, at hospital, to the unwell child or those closest to them, one thing's for sure: it is an invaluable source of hope for these families.
This festive season, try to bear Rainbow Trust in mind. Whether it's something small, like a one-off donation, or you boldly and bravely commit to a 2017 marathon, every little helps, and I know I speak on behalf of Rainbow Trust and all its supported families when I say they are truly grateful.
This year, have a different type of Christmas - have a charitable Christmas.