There are things I don’t like about my kitchen, but I remind myself every single day how lucky I am to have a place to cook, plentiful food and a space to gather loved ones safely. Everywhere I look, I see people wondering how to make the world be a happier place, particularly for those people who don’t have homes, or are living in dangerous or temporary homes. Today I’m sharing two simple ways I found to do my bit this Christmas, Faux Ho Ho for ActionAid and Blog It Forward for Habitat for Humanity.
I decided to host an ActionAid #FauxHoHo for my fellow Nottingham bloggers. Being a lovely lot, they suggested they all bring a dish and we donate what we might have spent on a meal out, or what we could afford, to ActionAid. You can see what we got up to, and which lovely bloggers came below.
Wayfair also launch #blogitforward this month, if you’re blogging about a good deed in December this could trigger a £50 donation to Habitat for Humanity. Deeds can include any act of kindness, from buying a stranger a coffee, to giving a compliment, or helping an elderly neighbour – big or small, it’s up to you how you give back.
Nottingham Bloggers Faux Ho Ho
Hosting a Faux Ho Ho is easy, you don’t need to go to lots of trouble or cook a Christmas dinner, just gather together some colleagues, friends or family, some nibbles and drinks.
It was a great rehearsal for the big day – Becky from A Beautiful Space brought crackers, which hadn’t even occurred to me – a good reminder! Action Aid supply you with your very own party pack which includes celebrity chef recipe cards, cut out selfie props and games to make the celebrations go with a bang.
We were all taken back to our childhoods by the magic fortune telling fish. Jaime from The Oliver’s Madhouse is fickle and passionate apparently – I think maybe as she is pregnant and so especially warm blooded, the fish certainly had a field day!
Everyone brought a dish and the feast was soon assembled. We all relaxed when incredible food blogger, Emily from A Mummy Too announced she had also been too busy to cook and had brought shop pies rather than baking. Emily and I first met at an ActionAid blogger event, so it was great to be able to do something for them again together.
Aptly, Catherine of Growing Family home and gardening blog brought garden vegetables to the gathering, with some crudites and dips. It’s lovely to welcome a new blogging face to the gang!
With only 4 weeks to go Lucy from Lish Concepts arrived with a bowl of delicious goats cheese, apple and walnut salad propped on her gorgeous bump.
Our meal was a chance to reminisce, many of us had come together for charity before, to raise money for Comic Relief, cycling and walking the baton through Nottingham during the Team Honk UK Relay. Donna from Ordinary Cycling Girl was on the cycling team. Donna and I also learnt lots more about Action Aid’s incredible work at the End Sexual Violence in Conflict Conference which we attended with the charity last year. Here are Catherine and Donna.
Next, gorgeous Mums to be Lucy and Jaime – I’ve cycled miles and walked and danced miles, respectively, with these two ladies, for Comic Relief – given they are both pregnant, it was great to be fundraising while sat down for once.
Finally, (L-R) Becky, me and Emily. Becky is always encouraging me – it is always a little nerve-wracking organising things for charity, even if I’ve done so many things now it really shouldn’t be – so it’s great to have someone who always believes in your mad ideas. Where would I be without a neighbour like Emily, for tea and sympathy and vast amounts of cake?
I’m so lucky to have all these ladies who care so much on my doorstep, and really must see more of them in real life, and not just via a computer screen.
In a magical moment of serendipity my latest house fantasy, a Scandinavian Christmas also came true. I found the perfect table runner and matching bunting from Ragged Rose and candle centrepiece from Sagaform.
It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. My only wish is that that feeling spreads as far as possible round the world. You can’t beat a Faux Ho Ho as a fundraiser, and what the world needs now is acts of kindness, so please, have a think about hosting a Faux Ho Ho and/or blogging it forward.
We raised enough to give two children living in poverty a hot dinner each day for a year. Our meal will keep giving. I am now thinking what other social events and groups of friends I could host a Faux ho Ho with….
Faux Ho Ho
Faux Ho Ho is all about having a ‘fake’ Christmas celebration, ahead of the big day itself, with friends/colleagues/or people who don’t have family near-by and raising money in the process to help millions of children around the world who are homeless.
Find out how to host your own Faux Ho Ho, and order a pack, by clicking the link.
ActionAid is helping to protect and keep the poorest and most vulnerable children safe at Christmas. 2015 has been a horrific year for children across the globe. War, violence and natural disasters have made millions of children homeless. Children in Nepal were left devastated by the earthquake that struck the country in April, tens of thousands are fleeing the war in Syria and there are millions of others who we don’t hear about in the media, like in India where there are estimated to be at least 11 million homeless children. Homelessness leaves children vulnerable. This Christmas, ActionAid are appealing for help for homeless children around the world.
Blog It Forward
For the month of December, Wayfair challenge bloggers to spread festive cheer by doing a good deed. Deeds can include any act of kindness, no matter how big or small. It’s up to you how you give back! Get some ideas here.
But how do you really #BlogItForward? Grab a badge, write a post on your blog explaining how you gave back, and challenge two of your blogging friends to participate!
If 99 bloggers join me, that would be £5000 – wouldn’t that be amazing for Habitat for Humanity, but also for all the lucky recipients of all the good deeds?
I know so many of you are planning on donating to food banks, collecting blankets, giving to charity, helping neighbours. Share it in a blog post #blogitforward.