Tag Archives: gifts

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas

In the midst of all the celebrations and stresses, it can be easy to forget about the wider community. If you’re wanting to help out, it can be hard to know what you can do, so today’s post is focused on giving you some ideas. Not all of these things cost money, as I know not everyone is in a financial position where that’s possible. Some are cheap or free ideas you can give back to the community.

Donate to a cause close to your heart.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

Is there a cause near to your heart? Perhaps you have personal experience of mental illness or a loved one who suffers/suffered from cancer. Donating a small (or larger amount) is an easy way to give back. Most donations can be done online and you can give as little or as much as you want.

Volunteer in a soup kitchen.

soup kitchen

Are there any churches or community centres near you that are hosting Christmas dinner? If you have time, volunteering is a way to give back that doesn’t cost any money. So many people use these resources over the festive period and I’m sure they’d be grateful to see a friendly face on what might be a very lonely day for them.

Give out care packages to the homeless.


Plenty of places organise giving out packs to the homeless. If you don’t have the time to go out yourself, you can also donate items (such as toiletries, blankets etc). For more information, you can visit this site here. 

Donate to a food bank.

10 Ideas On How To Give Back This Christmas | Charleigh Writes

One thing we try to do every year is clear out our cupboards and donate any food we don’t want to a food bank. In the past, I’ve had to use one and I will be forever grateful for the work they do. If you have the funds there are also often food bank donation points in supermarkets.

Donate presents to children.

tree presents

Often, donation stories popping up in the run-up to Christmas. I know our town did one this year where they collected together toys and gifts for children in need. They the donated them so they at least have something to open on Christmas morning. For more information, The Salvation Army is a great place to start.

Keep the smaller, cheaper gifts from Santa.

santa workshop

This is something so simple but can have a huge impact. Instead of having the more expensive gifts from Santa have him bring a smaller, cheaper gift instead. Hopefully, it could be your child that might make another less fortunate child feel less alone.

Buy charity Christmas cards.

christmas cards with polar bear and northern lights with gold tinsel

Every year when I buy a pack of Christmas cards I try to buy a pack where some of the profits go to charity. It’s a small way to give back and something you’ll probably do anyway.

Shop with small businesses.

happy pills, little jar of courage with hanging decorations 'you matter' and 'hope'

This is another easy way to give back. I always try to buy my stocking fillers from sellers on Etsy. Also, if there are any independent shops where you live it’s worth looking in them too. The items are normally good quality and you’d be supporting a small business.

Thank the emergency services.

police car

Whilst people are enjoying their Christmas Day, many people who work in emergency services will be keeping us safe and healthy this Christmas. Just a simple thank you is a free way to give back. You can also drop in cards or chocolate if you want to go that extra step.

Visit a lonely neighbour.

Elderly man's hands resting on a walking stick

So many people will be spending Christmas alone and just popping in on someone can make all the difference. If you’d like more ideas on how to help someone who’s lonely you can check out my post here.

What other ways could someone give back this Christmas?


charleigh signature



Ultimate Gift Guide For The Book Lover In Your Life

I’m here today with another gift guide – this time for the book lover in your life! It can be hard to think of ideas that aren’t books, so this guide is centered around things other than books. Of course a bookworm would love books (clue is in the title!), however, it can be hard to pick books they’ll enjoy or to know what books they already have. I hope you find the perfect gift!


Bookmarks are a book lover’s best friend. Nothing is worse than having nothing to mark your page, heaven forbid that someone might dog-ear a page! Bookmarks come in all shapes and sizes – woodmarks (like from Ink and Wonder), magnetic bookmarks, metal bookmarks, leather bookmarks, the choice is yours.

Bookish pins.

I for one love collecting book-related pins. It can be a good idea to think about what books they love to read and try to find pins based on them. For example, is your loved one a Harry Potter fan? – then these from Ink and Wonder are perfect.

Expecto Patronum pin.

Lumos pin.

Mischief Managed pin. 


Candles are a wonderful present for a bookish loved one. You can even find candles based on your loved one’s favourite book. Some great places to find bookish candles are;

A Court of Candles.

Bookish Burns.

Amelia Kitchen Candles.

Book sleeves.

Personally, my favourite bookish gift. I didn’t even know these were a thing until a few years ago when I received one in my Fairyloot subscription box. They are perfect for keeping books safe when out and about. They help protect from spillages, knocks, and creasing of covers/pages. They come in beautiful designs too! Here are some great places to find them;

Grumble Bums Crafts.

Artisanal Ane.

Reading journal.

Reading journals are perfect for the book lover in your life. It’s great having online sites like Goodreads to track books, but it’s nothing like having a journal to record your thoughts. This one is from Amazon and it includes a book log: with space for thoughts, as well as information like title, author, date read, stars given, etc.

Bookish mugs.

How about a bookish mug to sip their favourite drink whilst reading. Hot drinks go wonderfully well with reading so this is a great gift. You can get mugs with quotes, favourite book images or anything that looks cute! Here are some Etsy shops that do great bookish mugs;

The Story Gift.

Sweet Sequels.

TBR jar.


Lastly, if you’re on a budget or fancy being creative why not make them one of these TBR jars (you can check out my post on that here). It’s a really simple and fun gift that any book lover will love!

What other ideas could someone gift their bookish loved one?

charleigh signature

Ultimate Mental Health Gift Guide For Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re looking for that perfect, special gift for a loved one having a tough time you’ve come to the right place. The gifts included in this guide are perfect for anyone struggling with their mental health – whether they have a mental illness or not. Anyone can be having a tough time and it can be hard to find ways to help them through it. You don’t have to wait for Christmas, but if you’re loved one doesn’t like being made a fuss of or you don’t want to seem overbearing, Christmas is the ideal time to show someone you care.

Self care items.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Some ideas include bath bombs, shower gels, body lotions, candles, face masks. Basically anything that makes someone feel good or taken care of. It’s important to take time out for yourself, look after you mental health and feel good in yourself.

Weighted blanket.

Weighted blankets have many benefits, and people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses have found them useful. They can improve sleep, help with stress, and help someone feel safe when everything is crumbling around them.

Positive quote necklaces.

I recently purchased one of these for my best friend and she loved it. She even said it helps get her through in times of heightened anxiety or stress. It can give someone something to focus on, a quote to help them through or remind them of how far they’re come. I brought this one from PennyBlackDesigns on Etsy. They are beautifully made and also very affordable.

Positivity items.

One of the hardest things to do when you’re struggling is staying positive. It can be helpful for some people to receive little things to keep them going in times of need. There are so many places that sell positivity quote items in many forms – badges, fridge magnets, original artwork and so much more. One of my favourite places to shop for this kind of thing is Art Is My Therapy – it’s run by my friend Liv, who makes handmade items and sells her original artwork. She also sells pick me up boxes with a range of items to help someone through a tough time. I highly recommend her shop – you won’t be disappointed.

Make them a crisis box.

This is the perfect gift if you’re stuck for ideas. It’s great for letting someone know you care and it’s something they can use all year round. I did a full post on how to create your own here, if you need some ideas and inspiration.

Sensory items.

Sensory items are great because they give someone a way to ground themselves if they are suffering from dissociation/flashbacks, or to help anxiety when they are in stressful situations. Sensory items include but are not limited to squishies, candles, body/room sprays, slime or tangles.

What other things come to mind when you think of mental health gifts?

Dealing With Christmas Money Guilt + Tips

Welcome to Blogmas day 18. It’s now officially 6 days until Christmas. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m super excited! Today I’m here to talk about another topic revolving around Christmas time – Christmas money/gift guilt. Christmas can be an expensive time and it seems once you’ve sorted out one expense, another one creeps up on you. Sadly, society has taught us that spending money and buying loads of gifts is the sole purpose of Christmas. The adverts, social media and shops all try to ram home that it’s all about gifts, gifts, gifts – and when you don’t have a lot of money that can cause a lot of pressure, upset and worry. Today I’m going to be suggesting some tips that may help you feel less guilty about not being able to buy many gifts this year..

Make your own gifts.

Check out Pinterest – it has some fabulous ideas about what you could make for Christmas gifts. Many projects don’t need a lot of materials or artistic skill, and it adds a lovely, personal touch that your loved one will love. Knowing that you’ve put the time and effort into something can mean the world to someone – I know it does for me.

Set gift buying boundaries.

This could include things like only buying for immediate family or children, setting strict budgets or implementing gift ‘rules’. I know some families have the mutual agreement to only buy for the kids. If your family doesn’t have any agreements like that then try talking to them and see where everyone else stands. You can also set yourself strict budgets so when choosing a gift you know how much money you have available to spend on each individual person. There are also gift ‘rules’ you could stick to. One I’ve seen around a lot lately is the ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read’, and I’m sure there will be lots more out there too.

If you can’t afford to buy your children gifts, consider looking into a charity.

I’ve seen so many charities collect donations before distributing them to families in need. If you can’t afford presents that’s nothing to be ashamed of and there are people out there who will and can help. We all go through tough times and sometimes we all need a hand to help guide us into the light. It’s OK to ask for help if you’re struggling, it doesn’t make you a bad parent.

Remember the reasons why Christmas is celebrated.

The real message of Christmas is not about giving gifts. It’s about celebrating and spending time together as a family. Don’t drive yourself into the ground trying to buy gifts for every man and his dog. It’s so easy to get swept up in the pressure whirlwind of buying Christmas presents, but always try to remember the real reasons why we celebrate.

Try not to compare your Christmas to others.

This is easier said than done, but scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feed and feeling insane jealously and longing over other peoples Christmases is a surefire way to make yourself miserable. Some parents may seem to overbuy for their child, however, it’s important to remember they have a right not to be judged, just like someone who can’t or doesn’t buy their child tons of Christmas gifts. Everyone’s Christmases look different and comparing yours to someone else’s is one of the worst things you could do.

How do you deal with the pressure of Christmas?

Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Your Pets


Today I’m here with another gift guide – this time for our beloved pets. Our pets are just another family member and I don’t know about anyone else but I love to spoil them rotten. Here are some ideas – the majority of cat and dog products I’ve included I have for my own pets so they are tried and tested. You’ll be sure to find something your pet will love.



Cats (especially kittens) can never have too many toys. If your cats are anything like mine then for every 10 toys you buy them they’ll only play with 1. However that doesn’t exactly stop me! and the majority of things I buy for my cats are toys. There are many things to choose from – dangle toys, mice and interactive toys.

Top Picks.


My cats are obsessed with food. Magik – my little white and tabby cat will literally eat anything you put in front of her. Midnight – my black cat is super fussy especially with her wet food, but any treats and she’s right there!

Top Picks.

Scratching posts/trees.

If you have cats – you know they can never have enough scratching posts. I know some cats don’t bother with scratching posts or trees but my cats love them (although they still manage to scratch up the sofa!).

Top Picks.

Useful everyday products.

There are so many things that you could get to make life easier for you and more comfortable for your beloved cat. In this category we have beds including windowsill beds, radiator beds as well as standalone bed. Bowls, food mats and collars. Below are some ideas, most of the things I have purchased for my own pet and have been fabulous.

Top Picks.



My dog goes through toys as quick as anything so she’s sure to find new toys waiting for her under Christmas tree. There are so many to choose from – cuddlies (stuffingless for our Mulbs), balls, squeakers, outdoor toys, and many more.

Top Picks.


There are so many treats to choose from. We prefer not to give our dog rawhide but there are many other options to choose from. Recently we brought a Christmas gift set from Asda and it even included a selfie stick that you can put the dental stick into so hopefully it I’ll encourage your dog to pose for a selfie. I thought that was a brilliant idea! We also get her regular everyday dog treats from Topcollar – Mulberry loves the treats, they are made from the only best ingredient and it has the best customer service.

Top Picks.


Fancy something a bit more out of the ordinary? Or something to get their brain working? If your dog has tons of energy what about a fun agility course? There’s also puzzles, treat mazes, clicker training and treat balls.

Top Picks.

Useful, everyday items.

Along with the fun stuff you could also get them useful things to make their life better/more comfortable and your daily life easier. In this category we have beds, cooling mats, bowls, placemats, collars and many more items. Below are some ideas to get you started..

Top Picks.

Have you got any ideas about what someone could buy their pet this Christmas?

Christmas Gifts To Buy The Writer In Your Life


The Christmas season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about organising gifts. I know how hard it can be to find gifts your loved ones will love, so hopefully this will help with the stress of choosing a gift for the writer in your life..


This might seem like the obvious choice – but believe me when I say a writer can never have enough notebooks. It might seem boring but honestly unwrapping a new notebook is the best feeling ever for a writer. We need plenty of room for all the brilliant thoughts that could pop into our heads at any moment.

Books on the craft of writing.

A writer never stops learning. We’re always evolving and perfecting our craft to be the best writer we can be. That involves a lot of dedication, hard work and studying how stories work and the specific aspects of storytelling. A book on the craft of writing will always be appreciated by a writer – it’ll give them something new to explore.

A bullet journal or planner.

Blue bullet journal with pen

A writer has to be organised – having several writing projects on the go or working on a particular novel can get messy and unorganised very quickly. I personally prefer a bullet journal because it’s customisable to the person – and it also allows me to be creative. Creativity is really important to keep the brain active – but any kind of planner goes a long way.

I use this bullet journal – but there are many different notebooks out there with dotted pages you could choose.

Quirky mugs.

Find the best and quirkiest mug you can! Mugs with quotes on are my favourite kind. And a writer always needs a mug to put their caffeine fuel in (or tea or water or whatever they like to drink while they write).

A book.

One of the most important things a writer can do to improve their writing is to read. Reading and writing tend to go hand in hand and a new book will always be appreciated by your writer friend.

An inspiring quote canvas.

You could even make this yourself if you feel able. Any form of inspiring quote you think will spur your writer friend while they write will do.

I hope this helps anyone who is struggling to find the perfect gift for their writer friend. What would you buy/have bought this year for the writer in your life?