Christmas Wish Tree

Christmas has arrived! Well, actually it hasn’t – there’s still 3 more weeks to go. But you’d never know that, given the number of Christmas trees that have sprung up over the last few days. From where I am sat in the Bill Bryson Library shared office I can count seven that have appeared on the desks of various colleagues in the last few days! SEVEN!

“Desktop” Christmas tree, listing heavily. I fear she may go down, captain.

And it’s not just the trees. Computer monitors have been wrapped in tinsel quicker than you can say ‘moderate fire safety hazard’. A box of mince pies has silently surfaced without fanfare, like a nuclear submarine. The secret Santa draw has been made. Yes, it’s the time of year where you find out if your colleagues really know you and can be bothered to indulge your hobbies/interests, or whether they’ll default to ‘The Safe Gift’ like a candle or some wine or a packet of shortbread biscuits or something else they can fish out of that box under the bed where they keep last year’s unwanted presents.

In short, it’s a tough time for Scrooges everywhere.


Employee of the month

And because we’re now firmly into advent and Christmas itself looms on the horizon, steaming towards us like an unstoppable, fairy-lit, cinnamon-scented, snow-covered juggernaut, we’re inviting you to support our Christmas Wish Tree and give a gift for charity this Christmas.

Staff and students are invited to buy and wrap one or more gifts for a charity. To participate, pick up your gift tags from the Christmas Wish Tree which you will see on Level 2 of the Bill Bryson Library, just as you come in. Buy the item written on the tag, and then return your wrapped gift under the Wish Tree.

The Christmas Wish Tree!

Gifts will go to the Rainbow Trust, Action Foundation and St Cuthbert’s Hospice. Each gift tag on our Wish Tree has an item written on it that will be used by one of these charities to help people in need. Please make sure you firmly attach the tag back on the gift, so we can give your donation to the right charity!

The Christmas Wish Tree initiative is running from Monday 2nd December until 10am on Tuesday 17th December. On Tuesday 17th December, representatives for each charity will come to the Library at 11:15am to collect the gifts, and donations will be distributed by the charities according to need. Let’s see how much we can help the less fortunate this Christmas.

The gift list:

The Rainbow Trust supports families with a seriously ill child. To find out more, please visit

  • Small lego sets (under £5)
  • Sticker books
  • Arts and crafts
  • Activity books
  • Colouring Pencils

The Action Foundation supports refugees, asylum seekers and other immigrants experiencing isolation. Find out more by visiting

  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Warm socks
  • Slippers
  • Hot water bottles
  • Deodorant
  • Shower gel
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Seasonal chocolate gift
  • Blankets
  • Torches

St Cuthbert’s Hospice is based in Durham and provides a wide range of end of life, health and wellbeing services for local people. You can find our more by visiting

  • Bed socks
  • Non-slip slippers
  • Nightwear
  • Toiletries
  • Colouring books for children’s counselling service
  • Glitter pen sets for children’s counselling service
  • Massage oil for complimentary therapies
  • Wool to make twiddle muffs for Dementia patients
  • Zips, buttons or ribbons for twiddle muffs for Dementia patients
  • Handheld battery powered fans for patients with breathlessness

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