Another side to Christmas

For many of us Christmas is a day we spend overindulging, sharing gifts and spending time with loved ones. However, for some of us, Christmas isn’t all about eating and being merry.


Christmas is about giving back and there is people across the North East that spend their day making Christmas special for others. Josie and Sarah will be volunteering to cook Christmas dinner at YMCA in North Shields, as part of the Make Christmas Special Initiative. 

Josie says "My family does not live locally, so I would be at a loose end on Christmas Day. I will be helping make dinners for local people as part of a team of volunteers, then we will eat dinner together, distribute some gifts and possibly play some games. The initiative is all about breaking down barriers so we think it is important for people to get together rather than have volunteers just doing tasks. I am not really a big fan of Christmas so this way I can spend the day doing something to make others feel good, which in turn makes me feel good"

Sarah adds "I don't really want to spend the day with my extended family and would prefer to be doing something productive. Christmas to me means doing things to share happiness and that is what my volunteering is about"


For those working in healthcare, work doesn’t stop, even if it is Christmas. A local nurse said “For most people Christmas day will be spent with family opening presents, enjoying lots of good food and Christmas cheer. Working as nurse on Christmas day will be very different. Sadly people don’t get well and go home and illness strikes regardless of it being Christmas.

Having been a nurse for over 30 years I have worked many Christmas days...

Christmas day on the children’s ward was magical and fun, unwrapping presents and playing games. But the day was tinged with sadness as I realised some of the children would never experience another Christmas. It was so important to keep smiling and save the tears for when I got home.

Working as a nurse on Christmas day is a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you’re full of Christmas cheer for the people spending the day in the hospital, then the next you’re removing your Santa earrings and flashing badge as you go and deliver tragic news.

Nursing is a very rewarding career, a career I love. A career where even the small things, a reassuring smile or holding a hand can make such a difference. Over the years I have learnt the very valuable lesson to treasure every moment I have with friends and family”

No matter how you are spending your Christmas, we wish you a wonderful day, filled with joy. From all at Newcastle Building Society, Merry Christmas. How are you spending Christmas this year? Tweet us @NewcastleBSoc