Elf on the Shelf and wrapping up in Christmas jumpers are amongst the new festive family traditions fast taking over British Christmas rituals of the past – such as playing board games and tuning in for the Queen’s speech.
New research has discovered that 26 per cent of British families have begun new Christmas traditions in the past few years, with festive PJs for the whole family, and the Christmas Eve Box both popular choices. With the rise of digital and smartphone cameras capable of taking professional-looking photographs, an official family portrait at Christmas is another must for many.
Traditions are so important for families, passed down the line, with each new generation putting their own spin on what has come before. But here’s something that should cross your minds, as you settle down for your turkey dinner this December 25. The Trussell Trust says that, not only was December the busiest month for foodbanks last year, but year-on-year, December figures are rapidly increasing, as it prepares for its busiest Christmas yet. During December 2017, The Trussell Trust’s network provided 159,388 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis; 65,622 of these went to children. This is a 49 per cent increase on the monthly average for the 2017-18 financial year.
All across the region, local foodbanks have issued their own appeals for donations and volunteers to ensure that no family has to go hungry this Christmas time. Gleadless Valley Foodbank is just one such organisation that has asked for a little extra help already this month, when demand is at its highest and families are choosing between eating and heating. Gleadless has asked for donations of many often forgotten items – such as toilet rolls, sanitary towels and tampons, tin openers, nappies, toiletries, and baby food
So what can you do to help? As it turns out, quite a lot. Family traditions are so important, so perhaps now – whilst our children are young and looking to us for guidance on the things that matter – is the time to teach them about the importance of giving at Christmas.
Many families have, this year, introduced the idea of the reverse advent calendar: a box which children add something to each day, and then donate to their local foodbanks on Christmas Eve. If you look your local foodbank up online, most have a list issued of the things they most desperately need. Let’s work together to make this a happy Christmas for every family in Yorkshire.
What do foodbanks need:
- Whilst the items needed most urgently can vary from place to place, generally foodbanks are seeking items for food parcels, including – cereal, soup , pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea/coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, fruit juice, and UHT milk.