The way I see it: 'Tis the season

It’s that time of year!

Once again we are smashed with all things Christmas.

Everywhere we go, we see the decorations, the advertising, on our television screens, in the paper, in stores, ‘point of sale’ and on it goes.

It’s enough to make the ‘jolly old fat fella’ want to hide the sled and the reindeer, lock the door to the cabin and sleep!

Far from it!

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Christmas time, as we know, tends to be the time of the year where differences are put to a side. People actually communicate!

We are genuine and meaning. We go out of our way to ‘be nice’. Well, in the main! Unfortunately, there are people that show no remorse, regardless of the season.

We read of all the tragic events that continue to cloud our minds. Nothing changes.

The old saying.. ‘If it bleeds, it leads’, takes on a new meaning.

For some reason we seem to get more bad news stories at times like Christmas.

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Well, enough, I say.

As the song goes: “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la.”

I remember, as I’m sure you do, that time as a young child, watching my mother preparing for the ‘big event’. The box of decorations came down from the top cupboard. Handled with love and care, these of course were years old and treated with ‘kid gloves’.

Streamers, bells and balls, glass ornaments, elves and angels. It was a visual symphony of colour, strewn over the floor.

Very soon, these beautiful decorations would soon be hung high, adorning the house.

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Meantime, my father and his mates were off to a neighbouring farm to look for the perfect tree! Of course, we were not allowed to go, as it was ‘men’s business’. They would take their axe and a crate or two of beer, to ‘whet the whistle’ after their hard efforts cutting down a dozen or so trees!

There is a New Zealand native tree called the Pohutukawa.

It’s known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, as it flares into crimson display from late October, until end November and into the Christmas holiday period.

It’s known as the Kiwi Christmas tree as it only flowers over the Christmas period.

Most Kiwis that live outside of NZ get very homesick around this time and often will share their homes and Christmas with strangers, as they know the meaning of family. After all, isn’t this what Christmas is about… ‘Family’?

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It reminds us of another family.

Mary (who was about to give birth) and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. They had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel.

It is about 65 miles (105km) from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and the trip probably took them several days.

Anyway, they got there and there was no room because of the census… (No computer botch-up there.) They found a friendly innkeeper. He offered them a stable… well as they say, the rest is history!

I want to close with this little story… It happened to my friend recently.

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She wrote:

“Today I did my usual fortnight organic shop at the local markets… I spent my last $10 on a delicious handmade Vegan salted caramel choc wheel. As I was leaving the markets a homeless man that sells flower seconds, all profits going to the homeless asked me if I would like to buy a bunch of flowers, I replied that I didn’t have a cent on me. With that he gave me a rose and wished me a beautiful day. I was a little taken back as I knew he was homeless and I had no cash on me. I started to walk away and felt I had to turn back. I parted with my salted choc wheel; the gentleman had tears of gratitude. A small token of kindness made both his day and mine.”

It’s a beautiful story.

Let’s spare a thought for those that are not with us over this festive season.

People who are less fortunate than us.

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There are many reasons as to why people are struggling at this time of year.

My little wish is this.

Let’s all reach out in the next week or so, like my friend did. She had calculated her last $10 for that little treat. She showed kindness and gave it away as the flower man loved salted caramel.

May I just take this opportunity to say thank you, to those of you that have commented on my column during this past year.

Finally, may I wish you, your families, friends and the ones you love, the true blessings of this Christmas.

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Nui Te Aroha me Te koa Te Kirihimete ki a koutou katoa.
(Much love and Merry Christmas to you all.)

What is your Christmas wish? How are you connecting with those around you during the festive season?

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