Ditch Secret Santa

There's Nothing Under $20 I Want
A few years ago, these words were scrawled upon a Brisbane billboard which promoted local 'tweets'; and I have to admit, my first reaction was, 'I'm appalled and how ungrateful'.

Yet the more I thought about it, the more I realised, to my sadness, that this is unfortunately the world we live in.

A world dominated by people who must have the most expensive things, and are more focused on 'what's in it for me (WIIFM)' rather than 'what can I do for someone else?

Yet I'm hoping, this has changed for the better, as a result of what we've all experienced in 2020.
FOCUS:  Make A Difference (aka being M.A.D.)
Christmas for me has always been a time of family and providing for those who need a helping hand so with this in mind, might I suggest an alternative to gift giving this Christmas including any work/family Secret Santa gifts.

In my book, The Five Little RTO Pigs, I write about being a M.A.D. RTO Pig or the Make A Difference RTO Pig which is really about how you and your team are bringing a bit of M.A.D.ness to others.

So rather than giving a materialistic gift to someone which they may only use a few times and probably don't really need, here are 11 M.A.D. gift ideas which will truly Make A Difference.

11 M.A.D. Gift Ideas

1. OzHarvest

$20 = Provide 3 meals a day to a person in need for up to two weeks

2. Dementia Australia Research Foundation

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians, contributing to 5.4% of all deaths in males and 10.6% of all deaths in females each year.

3. St Vincent De Paul 

$20 = present/non-perishable food under the Christmas Tree

4. Salvation Army 

$20 = food package and present

5. Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal

$20 = up to 4 gifts to put under the tree

6. Oxfam Australia

$20 = chickens (from $10), seeds (from $10), water for a family (from $20)

7. The Smith Family

$52/month funds education support for a primary school child so join some Secret Santa gifts together.

8. Mummy's Wish

$22 provides a special book to help explain Mum's illness to kids

9. National Breast Cancer Foundation

$20 to fund research

10. McGrath Foundation

$20 donation will help McGrath Breast Care Nurses provide free support to patients and their families experiencing breast cancer. $70 provides the practical and emotional support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse for a patient and their family.


$25 = help provide care for all creatures, great and small. This could include providing an unwanted dog with a bath, treats and an enrichment toy this Christmas.

What's Next?
As you can see, $20 goes a long way to helping those in need so which one of these charities or one close to your heart will become your M.A.D Secret Santa gift this year?

And don't forget about the animals who help people remain strong in tough times so please include some cans of cat/dog food and dry biscuits.

Charities will also be most grateful if you could include some rolls of wrapping paper and tape.

And here's my final thought:

I came across this quote a few years ago and it's blown up on my office wall, just in case I ever lose my way.

It not only sums me up to a T but it's the quote which ends my M.A.D. book chapter; and is a fitting way to end this article.

I slept and dreamed that life was happiness.

Then I awoke and found out that life was service.

I served and I found out that in service, happiness is found.

Rabindranath Tagore – Nobel Laureate 1913

Dedicated to helping you GROW your RTO business

Author: Tamara Simon

Tamara Simon is Australia's Only Dedicated RTO Business Coach who's driven to making your RTO life easier.

For over twenty years, she's been helping timepoor RTO Owners, CEOs and Managers get out of OVERWHELM so they can

- Get back in control and on track

- Grow their business... simply

- Reignite their passion for training

Find out more about Tamara Simon, her Coach In Your Corner RTO Membership Program and how she can take your RTO from Overwhelmed to Optimised here:


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