Columnist, Allie Dransfield: Make a child’s Christmas by giving a gift to festive appeal

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I love Christmas – it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

From presents to parties, family get togethers to festive food I enjoy it all. However this year more than ever Christmas has sneakily crept up on me! It feels like only yesterday we were enjoying a late summer in September and now

I actually started in my Christmas shopping in September so I should be ready but I feel extremely under-prepared and according to all my friends on social media posts I am very much behind!

From as early as November 27 I started to see posts of twinkling Christmas trees and full decorated houses – it brought me out in cold sweat. Social media peer pressure is not what is needed in the already stressful run up to December 25.

I always buy a real tree, as I love the smell– and I would be lucky to still have a single pine needle on it by Christmas if I had put it up even before the advent calendars came out.

Last weekend I gave into the ever mounting Facebook posts and lovingly decorated my tree with the help of my two very eager children – although I did have to move a couple of the baubles they put on to ensure the tree didn’t have ten decorations on one branch!

As I stood back and admired my lovely tree I decided not to take a photo on post it on social media. Once you have seen one photo of a Christmas tree – you really have seen them all! And don’t even get me started on the abundance of Elf of the Shelf photos I have already seen this year!

One picture that I was happy to post on social media is the ever growing pile of presents in our office for Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids Mission Christmas Appeal. This year we signed up to become a designated drop off point and the response from colleagues and clients has been great. The campaign asks people to buy a present for a child aged 0 to 18 and the gifts will then be distributed to disadvantaged youngsters across South Yorkshire.

I actually put out a plea via facebook asking if anyone wanted to donate to the appeal and I was delighted when friends, family and neighbours started bringing toys and gifts that I have happily brought into work. As a mum I know how excited my children are about Christmas and every child deserves to wake up to a present on Christmas morning. Christmas is the time for giving – giving an extra gift to someone in need and giving people a break and not making them feel like Scrooge because their house wasn’t decorated by 1st December! Merry Christmas!