Home > About us > Leadership blogs > Little kindnesses capture the spirit of Christmas

Little kindnesses capture the spirit of Christmas

December 2022

Teddy Nyahasha

This year’s festive thoughts have been hard to get down on paper. Usually, I reflect over the last twelve months and look forward to the future as we meet the fresh start of the New Year.

However, this year is very different.

After the bleakness of the pandemic, we’d all hoped that 2022 would see us turning a corner towards positive new beginnings.

Instead, this year has seen us hitting a cost-of-living crisis and inflation at a more than 40-year high. Parents are skipping meals to feed their hungry children and foodbanks are struggling to support the most in need.

Centrepoint tells us that around 30,000 young people will face homelessness in England this Christmas, and Age UK has been in the news highlighting loneliness as one of the biggest impacts of the cost-of-living crisis for older people.

Christmas tinsel won’t add any sparkle to the truth that we are in the most difficult of times.

The heavily laden tables of food that are present in a lot of the Christmas television ads feel rather tone-deaf right now. Pretending that everything will be OK and rehashing the hackneyed Christmas trope of a beautifully decorated tree surrounded by extravagantly wrapped presents seems rather hollow.

I feel it puts pressure on families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

"Little kindnesses mean a lot rather than the big gestures wrapped in shiny paper"

But there are some ads that have made a careful choice to move away from the usual trumpeting of Christmas as a time to spend heavily on luxuries.

These focus on giving in a broader sense, the giving of self, of time, of care.

Maybe we are starting to see a narrative shift towards Christmas as being more about the giving of ourselves; the little kindnesses that mean a lot rather than the big gestures wrapped in shiny paper.

At OneFamily we partner with a number of different charities throughout the year – local and national – that look after people when they are most in need.

As well as providing funding, our team gets hands-on by volunteering, providing expertise and advice.

For us it’s not just about throwing money at an organisation and thinking ‘job done’ we think actions speak louder than hard cash. So, we’re rolling up our sleeves, picking up our paintbrushes and getting stuck in to do whatever we can to help.

That might mean helping at a foodbank, refurbishing a youth centre, providing mock interviews for school children or giving technical expertise to a charity that needs help with its website.

We hope that all our little kindnesses will add up to improving the lives of real people who are seriously struggling at the moment.

"I think there is hope - and it lives in our humanity"

This is going to be a hard Christmas for so many and undoubtedly it will continue to be tough as we move into the New Year. I can’t provide a saccharine-sweet pretence that it will be any different.

However, I think there is hope - and it lives in our humanity. The small things that we do every day to make someone’s life a little brighter or bring some colour into their world. The warmth that we, as human beings, give to each other in our words and actions.

And that, for me, is where the spirit of Christmas can be found.


Teddy is a strong supporter of diversity, inclusion and equality. A passionate believer in social mobility and financial inclusion; he is using his position as CEO of OneFamily to help the young, the disadvantaged and the marginalised to reach beyond their expectations. His view is that everyone in society should have the same opportunities to access financial products – regardless of their wealth.

You may also be interested in:

Charity partnerships

We believe in playing an active role in our communities, creating mutually beneficial partnerships that provide meaningful support.

Our mutual heritage

Supporting our members and communities has always been integral to how we do things.

Young Person’s Education Grants

Improving access to education and training for 15-19 year olds.


We aim to provide long-term value for our members, supporting them throughout their financial lives.