It seems for many of us, Christmas is nothing more than a major buying spree. We agonise over what type of present to buy for family members. We are exhorted to shop early, buy at never-to-be-repeated special prices and fill up our family’s stockings with everything from items in the junk mail catalogues to the latest electronic gadgetry.
For some, Christmas is a religious feast. For others it is just a chance to have some time off from work and enjoy the festivities of the season. Many in our world are not as fortunate as we are. During this Christmas period some are exposed to hunger, war, death and having to flee from their homeland. Hopefully, in the midst of all our merriment, we can find time to perhaps offer some support to many of the local charities trying to make Christmas special for others. The homeless and people living alone can easily be forgotten.
It is this time of the year when natural and human caused disasters can strike even our lucky country. Road accidents, bushfires, cyclones, droughts and floods can exact their toll on our families and friends and make us more aware of how vulnerable we can be when we least expect it.
After the shopping, feasting and drinking are over, then come the holidays. As the Christmas bells are drowned out by the hooters and fireworks of the New Year celebrations, Christmas gets forgotten for another year and hot cross buns appear on the supermarket shelves preparing us for Easter.
Let us use this Christmas to strengthen our family ties, to tell our kids and our partners we love them and even though, sometimes it can be difficult, enjoy being together as family.
The love we give one another is far more precious than all the gifts we can buy.
I’m Peter Mack and that’s life.