My Christmas wish

Christmas is here. A celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The streets are filled with carols, melodies, and shopping sprees are at a climax. It’s family reunions and joy all round. Every one of us celebrates the festive season differently. While some cannot wait to go back to their ancestral homes and be re-united with family members. Others will use this season as family quality time.

Personally, during this time I am always reminded of those who are unable to join in on the celebration. The less advantaged who are wondering where tomorrow’s meal will come from. My Christmas wish is that we share whatever little we have with those that have nothing, and encourage our children to do the same, so that we can start a new culture where Christmas for them is not just about fancy clothes and lots of food, but just as importantly, about caring for community.

So go out of your comfort zone, check on your neighbours, visit the sick, spend a day at an orphanage or homes of the underprivileged. It may sound like a simple gesture but you have not the slightest idea of how many flowers you will have watered with such a selfless act, and what critical life lessons you will have passed on to your offspring.

I will be celebrating teenage mothers this Christmas. If you are out there and are moved by this cause, please feel free to contact me for more details.  Merry Christmas!


Christmas gift ideas: Giving experiences rather than ‘stuff’

Coming up with fun and unique Christmas gift ideas year in and year out can be a challenge. For some shoppers, it can even turn gift-giving—what should be a true joy of the season—into a really tiresome chore. Here is (an adapted) testimony of one parent taken off the internet:

Last year, I decided I did not want to buy my kids more stuff for Christmas. They already have toys and gadgets galore. And over the past few years, I have noticed that the Christmas morning thrill of finally getting the most coveted item on their wish list was fading fast—sometimes by Christmas dinner.

So I focused last year’s holiday planning around experiences instead of toys. I figured that focusing on family time would create more meaningful memories. In the months leading up to Christmas, I avoided the mall and instead, I shopped online for an experience.

On Christmas morning, my kids opened a letter from Santa. In it, he explained that we would be leaving on a trip that very day. There were no presents to unwrap, but there were no tears, either. My kids were too excited about the adventure ahead to think about what they didn’t get.

Though some experience-based gifts can be more expensive than the Nintendo 3DS your eight-year-old might want, you do not necessarily need to spend more to make these gifts meaningful. You cannot, for example, place a monetary value on spending time together as a family or on those memories that will come from shared experiences. Here are just a few ways to replace “stuff” with experiences:

  • Instead of spending so much on an Xbox, you could give your family a hot air balloon ride (yes, they are available in Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth national parks).
  • You can give your children a field trip. Venture to the zoo, a museum, or a sporting event.
  • If your children have never seen a live stage production, this could be the year for it.
  • Give the gift of learning and pick up a new skill as family. Sign up the whole group for cooking lessons, for instance.
  • And if you are looking for something peaceful, adventurous and inexpensive, how about trying a family picnic?