This is the festive season, but not for all

IT’S hard to believe that in just five more sleeps it will finally be Christmas Day.And it’s hard not to get caught up in the commercial side of the festivities.There’s pressure to spend big on just the right present, to decorate our homes with all the latest baubles and make our way to as many parties and celebrations as possible.We must also keep up the appearance of being happy at all times or risk being labelled a scrooge or, worse, a grinch. Bah, humbug.But we must keep in mind it’s not always a happy time for everyone.Some have lost loved ones and this will be their first Christmas without mum or dad proudly watching over the family from their seats at the end of the table, or perhaps nan or pop, who were always the first to don their silly paper hats, are no longer with us.Money may be tight and credit cards already full, meaning the possibility of fulfilling children’s wishes is just not an option.And illness doesn’t take a break over the festive season.Some people have coughs and colds, others have life-threatening or life-ending illnesses to cope with and others still have chronic conditions that wear them down, whether it’s Christmas, New Year or Easter.But even with only a few days left in the lead-up it’s not too late to remember the true meaning of this time of year – to give.So gather up your family and friends, or even those without family and friends, and willingly give your time, your help, your humour and your love.Best of all, those gifts don’t need batteries, won’t be accidentally thrown out with the wrapping paper – and they’re all free.If you really can’t resist putting something under the tree, why not break with the tradition of giving what’s wanted in favour of giving what’s needed – by the world.A few dollars can save a person’s sight, buy a goat for a community or, closer to home, put a smile on a child’s face as they open their single gift for the day.Let’s face it, in feelgood terms, they’re going to beat anything else under the tree, hands down.Merry Christmas.
Nanjing Night Net

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