Australians love to help people in need, and the Christmas season is no exception.

Inspired to do something different this year? Here’s seven ideas to help you give back.

1. Dine with Me

Know a friend from another country? A lonely relative? A neighbour far from home? A student unable to go home for the holidays? Consider offering them a seat at your dinner table this Christmas.

2. Out and About

Getting out in the sun and kicking a ball around is easy to enjoy this time of year. You can help refugee and migrant kids celebrate with their native shouts of 'goal!' this summer by volunteering with the Football United Program.

3. Respect Your Elders

Retirement homes are likely to have residents who won't see family members during the holidays. Find out the visiting hours for your local retirement home and bring a small gift — or simply give the gift of good conversation. 

4. Go Green

Every time you enjoy a national park or a public garden, it's likely to have been tended by local volunteers. With 10.5 per cent of mainland Australia’s natural environment protected for the public, that's a lot of land to tend! Contact Landcare Australia to find out what you can do, or how you can donate to their efforts.

5. Food For Thought

Chances are you have extra tins of food in your kitchen right now. Go look. Now consider donating that food. Foodbank welcomes donations of any size. Think outside the box: Sometimes pantries are in need of non-edible supplies, like soap and toothbrushes.

6. Get Better Soon

Nurses, doctors and diseases don't take a break during the holidays. Call your local hospital to find out if it will accept volunteers - not just at this time of year, but all year round. You can bring small gifts to children or the elderly, or simply sit and visit someone.

7. Click a Button

Can't donate your time? You can give gifts of individual food items, feed a family for several weeks, or even organise a virtual food drive with the click of a button. Karma Currency is a great place to get started.