Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. We are surrounded by decorations, beautiful lighting and bombarded with promotions and advertisements of the ideal Christmas gift.

For Christians and non-Christians, it is the holiday season that coincides with the end of a year and celebrating, one way or the other, is guaranteed.

Naturally, it is also the time that we demonstrate to our friends and loved ones, how much we appreciate them and buying Christmas gifts is almost always a priority. However, this year due to the pandemic, many of us may find that we have little or next to nothing by way of a gifting budget and may have to enjoy a far more frugal holiday season than previous years.

Well, I’m here to tell you that in the true spirit of Christmas giving and gratitude, there are gifts that can be just as meaningful for the giver and just as appreciated by the receiver that will not break the bank. Yes! You have it, I’m sure you have guessed by now that one of the most special gifts is your very presence. Spending time with family and friends, be it in the physical, via telecommunications such as Face Time and zoom meetings and good old fashioned phone calls, it is important to remember that the majority of us will be overjoyed to connect with loved ones, knowing that in spite of the challenges that many faced during this adventitious year, the gift of life remains for the majority of us.

So my advice would be to steer away from the pressures of consumerism and concentrate on gift-giving that brings out the creative side in us all, with a personal touch, such as baking a lovely dessert or handcrafting a beautiful ornament or flower arrangement. You can also opt for consumables such as a bottle of wine or a delicious cheeseboard selection, as, with all the entertaining that goes on during this period, albeit for smaller numbers, these would be ideal and useful.

Whatever you decide, avoid overextending yourself and starting the new year in debt. Spend this particular Christmas season in gratitude. Remember always to act in kindness and be thoughtful of others.

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