Weeks ago I contacted a few businesses to see if they would be willing to provide products for a giveaway I was planning. Some ignored me declined, but a heap were quick to jump on board. You see financially we’ve been having a crap year. Things have, and continue to be, pretty tough for us and I wanted to help someone else who was struggling. My plan was to ask readers to put me in touch with a mum who had been having a hard year and would benefit from a parcel of goodies to brighten her spirit. You see, us bloggers get a lot of stuff sent to us and then we offer lots of giveaways to each other. I thought it was time to share the love.

But, the closer I got to working out the details of the giveaway the more uneasy I got. How would I pick the winner? How could I distinguish between different levels of unhappiness or hardship?

Then I had an idea, I would go out and buy a few extra trinkets, divide the products I had and instead donate them. I had enough stuff for five presents – three for women and two for kids.

Roadshow Entertainment DVDs
Pan Macmillan Books

It also provided the perfect opportunity to talk to my children about giving, about reaching out and helping those who need the support of others. They helped me buy the extra gifts, wrap the gifts and we place them under the local Kmart Wishing Tree (an initiative started in SA). The donated presents go the Salvation Army who distribute them to families in need. The kids were amazing and we decided we would add the gift of present giving to our other donations we make every year at Xmas. No matter how hard things are, there are always others having a worse time.

Miss 4 helping me wrap the presents, with added nail polish and 3D chalk
Miss 3 helping carry presents to the car

Then I realised I still had a box of goodies (extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Seville marmalade, tomato and chilli sugo and Barossa tomato sauce) from the divine Barossa Valley-based company, Maggie Beer. Seriously, everything from Maggie Beer is AMAZING. It was hard for me to let this go!

And the team at Tip Top had offered this cute limited edition singing bread bin designed by celeb chef Anna Gare.

The bread bins, there’s another one designed by comedian Fiona O’Loughlin, play the the famous (and recently relaunched) ‘Good On Ya Mum’ jingle when opened. Only 50 have been made and if you’re quick you can get your hands on one at Tip Top’s Facebook Page.

Then there was the team at Kellogg’s Australia who offered to send a selection of cereals to a lucky reader.

Instantly, I knew what to do with the goodies. I would gift these to someone who has been an amazing support of Australian bloggers. She’s a regular commenter, an active Instagram participator and a Twitter and Facebook friend. So, to Cassie aka Flying Drunken Monkey – thank you.

And to all the businesses who offered goods – you are fab. Maggie Beer, Kellogs, Tip Top, Roadshow Entertainment and Pan Macmillan – thank you so much for your generosity.

To everyone who reads bigwords, you are wonderful and I hope you have a safe and merry Xmas.

What ways do you reach out at Christmas time?