BY: FAZAAD BACCHUS
Christmas is a time of great joy and cheer, it’s a time when the geese are getting fat and when you need to put a penny in the old man’s hat. Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate Christmas every year as most everyone has accepted that this is one of the most celebrated times of the year. We all grew up knowing that on this special day, we will be having our special ginger beer or sorrel or black cake. And if you grew up in a poor family, you were sure that on this day even if it’s just once per year, turkey might be served. We watched with delight as little kids how our parents hung up new curtains on Christmas Eve and what euphoria. Today we try to re-live the same memories here in a foreign country, a little parang, a little house lime and eat something before you go!
But something has changed from back then. Back in those days’ parents had little money and each child got one or two toys at the most. Typically, boys got a cap gun and girls got a little dolly. We would all treasure our little gift tremendously because we didn’t know when we would be getting another. Even if your birthday was coming up shortly there was no telling if a gift was coming or not. So, what has changed?
We are living in a time and place of consumerism. Buying has become the center of everything, the more you buy the better things look. But is it really how it is supposed to be? Today I see kids receiving so many toys at Christmas time that none of the toys are special enough and they quickly get bored with them. You know, I had one red plastic truck growing up as a boy and I tied a string to the front and pulled that truck for a whole year, I’m sure the mileage and warranty had long passed its mark, but hey it was going strong!
So how can we spend wisely on gifts this Christmas?
First, everyone doesn’t have to get gifts from everyone else. It is much better to buy a worthwhile gift where everyone contributes towards a single gift than everyone buying a small or cheap gift. Johnny doesn’t have to get a gift from everyone, ask him to write a wish list or a Santa’s list and then the family sits down and makes the best decision on a gift for him. This one special gift will have a lot more sentimental value and he will treasure it for a much longer time.
Buy gifts that add value to the home or increases time spent with the family. For example, give Johnny or his dad a chess, monopoly or board game. This will increase time spent with his dad or other siblings as they play together. If you buy toys that are only toys Johnny will play but will not learn.
Buy the children educational toys. There are many play computers that teach children early math and science etc. And don’t be carried away with tablets, kids use them mainly to download games; it may appear that they are learning but they become addicted to games.
Let Christmas be a time of good cheer and don’t waste your money on cheap things.