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Christmas – A Time For Giving

You don’t need a calendar to confirm we are at the pointy end of Christmas. Even if you are not going shopping you will still be subjected to Christmas decorations, everything from big red bows on palm trees in the Botanical Gardens to endless commercial promotion in printed form - everywhere!

These days it is easy to forget that this is a religious festival, so severely has it been hijacked by commercial interests. Even if your Christmas does not involve activities associated with your local church (of which you are probably not a member), the concept of “Peace on earth Goodwill to All” is still far more important than backing Australia in the Boxing Day Test.

The practice of gift giving (particularly to children) originated with the celebration of the feast day of Saint Nicholas on December 6th, but later came to focus on Christmas Day itself. Perhaps the true origin of gift giving lies in the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh given to the newborn Jesus by the Three Wise Men, although these were clearly not intended to be reciprocated.

While we should remember that significant monetary gifting to charity, even at Christmas, remains a tax deduction, we should not look for something in return. That’s the true spirit of Christmas.