We all know that there is an alternative to the traditional stuck with the family and mired in food and booze Christmas we moan about on an annual basis. But it takes quite a lot to change habits and risk something new. Skilled people - this is your year. Crisis needs you!
As well as offering warmth, sustenance and merriment Crisis' Open Christmas also provides essential services to its homeless clientele. Opticians, dentists and hairdressers are in particular short supply and could make a huge difference to someone's Christmas, possibly even life.
Chefs, dog handlers and veterinary nurses (dogs need Christmas cheer too), 'human' nurses and healthcare assistants, massage therapists, beauticians, podiatrists and even people handy with a sewing needle are urged to consider helping the homeless this Christmas.
Those of you not equipped with the formal skills above are also needed; around 85% of volunteers are general helpers who are asked to commit to two shifts over the period 23-30 December. So you could even do this and still make it to the rellies for festive overindulgence.
About 2,000 people are expected to visit seven temporary centres across London opened by Crisis between 23 and 30 December. For more information and to volunteed visit Crisis' website.
Image of guests enjoying a Christmas meal at Crisis Open Christmas 2006 courtesy of Crisis.