Category: holiday

Giving a Little this Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. A large number of us will be heading home, surrounding ourselves with friends and family, eating far too much of mums cooking, cracking Christmas crackers and wearing silly party hats that are often too big.

No matter how you will be celebrating this holiday season, it’s important to remember that Christmas isn’t a great time for everyone. During this time we would like you to think about how you can help those in need and bring some Christmas cheer to others.

Here are four easy ways that you can help make a difference this Christmas.

Donate a Gift

Across a number of King’s Residences we are supporting The Salvation Army Gift Giving Appeal. At the Great Dover Street Apartments, Stamford Street Apartments, Wolfson House and Champion Hill residences you have the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life by donating a gift that a child will receive on Christmas Day. Simply purchase a small gift and head to your reception. You’ll be asked to place a tag on your gift and place it under the tree! Ideas for what to buy can be found here. This is a great opportunity to put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

Donate to a food bank

It’s likely that you’ve refined your culinary skills since you moved in to King’s Residenmy-nemesis-the-pot-noodleces. Hopefully you will have cut back on your pot noodle consumption and have learnt to cook a few specialities.

If you need to get rid of unwanted food (like pot noodles!), why not donate to your local food bank? Even a can of beans can help someone have a better Christmas. You can easily find your local food bank on the Trussell Trust website.


Have a Christmas Clear Out

Going home over the Winter Break? In between stuffing yourself with mum’s cooking and squabbling with siblings, why not take the opportunity to have a Christmas Clear Out?

Chances are you haven’t been home in a while and might wonder why you’ve been holding on to that dress from Year 10 or those football boots from that one year you decided to play a sport. Take the time to rifle through your old room and donate any unwanted goods to a charity. Clutter is often linked to stress, so you’ll feel great for getting rid or your excess belongings and giving to others at the same time.

Help the Animals

Every year the RSPCA experiences an influx of abandoned animals during winter. The charity expects over to take in over 19,000 animals in England and Wales alone this winter, that’s a lot of cute puppies in need!

The RSPCA have a bunch of fundraising events you can take part in, or you can make a one off donation to help. You can also help any wild animals by reading through their online tips.


Are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

The time has come for our American counterparts to celebrate all that they’re thankful for over endless amounts of roast turkey, stuffing and pie.  Elyse in our ResiLife team is spending her first Thanksgiving alone in London. Below she reflects on her past celebrations and offers some tips to our American residents giving thanks today.

Today is Thanksgiving and I am not with my American family to celebrate. For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is a time for family, fun and a four day weekend. For me, it is usually a day/long weekend filled with fighting with my younger brothers over food, finding out about dark family secrets that are only ever shared at this time of year and counting down the hours till the Black Friday Sales. This year I am spending Thanksgiving in London instead of Las Vegas, working instead of laying on the couch and having dinner for alone instead of with a crazy family of 12.

Here are my #thanksgivingreflections. Take note as there are some highly important ones.

Avoid Awkward Dinner Conversations

These generally happen with family members you haven’t seen since last Thanksgiving. They are the ones that ask the inappropriate questions and pry into every aspect of your personal life. “Why are you still single?” and “What do you plan to do with your life?” are the two that seem to come up the most when you have those unavoidable and lingering conversations with distant relatives. Sometimes you wish you were still sitting at the kids table.

WARNING – ***Avoid discussing the US Presidential Election outcome at all costs***

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Choose the family games well

Nothing separates family and friends more than Monopoly and UNO. If there is a way where you are able to play a game where everyone wins something, choose that. You will be even more thankful when everyone is still talking come Friday. Then you fight over leftovers and they are the battles worth fighting.


Pace yourself when it comes to the food

It’s Thanksgiving and trust me. You will have more food than patience on this day. Pace yourself and remember that you can always go back for seconds. Don’t be the family member who falls asleep on the floor because you have given up sitting at the table. In saying that, don’t be the family member that unbuttons their jeans first; they will remember this for years to come.


Football is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is highly entertaining

There is nothing worse than watching a sport that you have no clue how it is played or no interest in it at all. Whilst this is a Thanksgiving tradition do not feel obligated to watch it. However, it is fantastic watching grown men try and seriously harm one another and by the end of the game you generally have a team you will be supporting more than the other, even if this is just based on the colour of their jersey.

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Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Trust me… The giant Snoopy balloon is just tradition!


Leftovers for days on end

Now this is one of the greatest things about Thanksgiving on a Thursday. You literally don’t need to leave the house for 4 whole days because there is that much leftover food. This is your opportunity to not change out of your PJs, watch endless reruns of terrible TV shows and just not have a care in the world until Monday rolls around.

P.S. For those of you that remember Gilmore Girls, the Netflix revival starts tomorrow! Get ready for a whole lot of awesome.

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Remember to give thanks

Whilst it may have been a bad year (and for a lot of people 2016 was one of the worst), remember that there are will always be people who are worse off. We have a lot to be thankful and grateful for. Even if it is just for the food that you are eating, the fact that you have a roof over your head or someone to talk to when things get rough… it all counts!

Special note

For those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving without your family remember that you are never alone. There are a number of charitable organisations that could do with your support over the holiday period, especially during the lead up to Christmas.

Also remember that Friendsgiving is now a thing. Get some friends together, head to the pub and share those awkward family moments you have been dying to tell someone.

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