Saturday, May 28, 2022

Christmas is here! Feel It?

It is that time of year again, people are running around frantically searching for the last-minute-items they had forgotten to buy, traffic queues go for miles bumper to bumper, the shopping malls are packed and of course all the kids are expecting new clothes that they will be wearing on Christmas and New Year day. With only a few days left until Christmas, the festive mood can be felt all over.

Every year in December we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. That is why we call this time of year ‘Christmas’ – we celebrate the ‘Mass’, or church service, for Christ. Christmas is a truly magical season, bringing families and friends together to share the much loved customs and traditions which have been around for centuries. But what is Christmas without the ‘Father Christmas’ tale?

Who doesn’t know this old jolly man with white hair, a beard and a moustache called Santa Claus? In my childhood days, I recall seeing him on television movies dressed in a red suit outlined in white. Santa and his elves make all the toys for Christmas in his home in the North Pole. Children write letters to Santa to tell him what they would like for Christmas. Some children will send their letters by post or e-mail but the more traditional way is to throw the letters into the back of the fireplace. The draught then carries the letters up the chimney to him. On Christmas eve Santa Claus piles all of the toys onto his sleigh and rides across the sky with his reindeers.

It’s a pity our own children do not believe in this Santa Claus character, a few days ago I decided to throw a very interesting question to my 8-year-old nephew. I asked him ‘What do you want Santa to get you for Christmas’; this was my way of trying to find out what to get him but the facial-expression-response I got from him was enough for me to conclude that he did not believe in this so called character. This is different in other parts of the world where many kids have now already wrote letters to Santa asking him to get them presents they wish to have in 2015.

One of the things that make Christmas so special is the spirit of giving. It is the idea of giving and sharing that reminds us that we are all on this planet together, for the long run.

So let’s be kind to one another and help the less fortunate in any way we can. The Bible teaches us that Love, Peace and Joy came down on earth on Christmas day to make us happy and cheerful. On the day Jesus was born, the angels were rejoicing in heaven and this was the day that will mark long life for humanity.

I love Christmas day so much because I get to eat so many different foods I never knew existed. I have a sister who does not mind showing off her cooking skills on Christmas, ever since my young years I have never seen anyone doing magic in the kitchen except only her. Everyone on the day usually gets excited as we all know that there is going to be a new recipe we are going to try, I just hope she does not disappoint again this year. Just like any other Sunday meal or special events meal, the expectation on Christmas meal is usually high not only in my family but in all other households.

Some may choose to go for a Christmas lunch in a luxurious hotel or restaurant but most people prefer making that home cooked meal and making it extra special. It’s a norm that most mothers will be busy over hot stoves and cooking utensils in a bid to make the perfect roast lunch. One important advice worth sharing is to set a Christmas budget and Stick to it, every Christmas; I remember my grandfather’s famous words. He always told me that it is important for one not to over spend on Christmas as January is a month where everyone appears to be broke.

This piece of advice is worth its weight in gold, regardless of how obvious it appears to be. The amount of people who go over their budget at Christmas is astonishing; it appears we are a society full of impulse buyers, which can lead to disaster if you are not careful. Think about your routine that you stick to the rest of the year, you pay your rent, your bills but then you have what is left over for luxuries, this is your budget for the rest of the month and in order to keep having these luxuries you must keep to your budget or else you will have to go without for a period of time.

It’s exactly the same at Christmas, only you have more things to buy for other people. If you haven’t saved up in advance for Christmas spending don’t panic, just sort out a reasonable budget. Make a list of all the people you need to buy presents for and a list of those you would like to buy presents for. You don’t need to spend hundreds per person, most people will be happy with something very small. Just remember the famous old phrase “It’s the thought that counts”.


Read this week's paper