You’ve seen the movies and heard the songs: Christmas is all about Michael Buble.
No, wait — it’s about giving. Sorry. It’s definitely, definitely about giving.
The Forge Shopping Centre in Glasgow gets it — and have been working in partnership with local East End charity With Kids to ensure the *real* festive spirit reaches children who might not get any presents this Christmas.
Parkhead Forge has a tree where you pick a tag for a child who has no one and has written a list for Christmas. It ends next Monday so please go down and pick a child if you can, give a little love this Christmas ✨❤️ pic.twitter.com/RvtdQJkIBj— Nips (@inevermissabeat) December 4, 2017
Together, they’ve set up a “Giving Tree” lined with tags outlining small wish-lists from children who find the festive period more difficult than most. Shoppers can take a tag from the tree, and donate a present — going straight to the kid who asked for it. It's an idea they've ran for several years in a row after it found popularity all over the world, but it's finally gained attention in the UK after a tweet sharing the scheme went viral this week.
“This is a wonderful incentive to support with all gifts distributed throughout our local area,” said Jade Wilkie, marketing manager at The Forge. “The Forge believe in a little festive cheer for everyone and making each individual's Christmas unforgettable.”
A massive thank you to all of our customers who have donated to our giving tree so far 👏🏼💗By spreading a little festive cheer we can make sure the kids in our local area have an unforgettable Christmas 🎄🎁 #makeitforge#unforgettable#makeachildswishcometrue#withkidspic.twitter.com/jq73oagXHE— Forge Shopping (@forgeShopping) November 27, 2017
Unwrapped gifts get handed to the centre’s customer service desk — and then the magic happens. The shopping centre has Santa on speed dial, but will need all gifts to be donated by December 12 to ensure there’s time to create a bespoke chimney-to-chimney strategy for Christmas Day.
Spiderman, Batman, and Paw Patrol toys are among the gift requests hung on the tree. But one 12-year-old girl asked for makeup, hair accessories — and toiletries. More than one in four of Scotland’s children live in poverty, and especially for young girls, period poverty can become a daily challenge. Global Citizen has previously reported how one Member of the Scottish Parliament is trying to change that, but nothing is due to happen before the end of the year.
One Twitter user described the thought of these children going without at Christmas as “heartbreaking”, and other people flocked to social media to express both empathy and support.
"Toiletries"... That's heartbreaking...— Adam Curran (@AdamCurran) December 5, 2017
The items on the list are such simple items.. one less round for us or one less takeaway is their entire list! Thank you so much 💛— Nips (@inevermissabeat) December 5, 2017
I did this the other day cause I live just up the road, I think it’s such a lovely idea 💖— Gemma💖 (@glittertitsxo) December 4, 2017
Everybody deserves to feel loved — and not just at Christmas. But at the heart of the “Giving Tree” is a question about inequality, and local shoppers are turning out up in droves to answer it with typical Scottish generosity.
Even John McClane kicked off Die Hard carrying a giant brown teddy bear with a red ribbon around its neck. Christmas is for everyone — and it can start with a gift.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, including Goal No.10, for reduced inequalities. Take action with us here.