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We Should Be Giving On Every Single Day

By Deidre Bastian

Finally, the long wait is over, which means that you have ripped open the nicely-wrapped gifts. I trust that you have received the presents you expected.

Christmas has come and gone, and today we begin the countdown to the next one. We remember last year’s Christmas was not that long ago. It’s almost as if the years, months, weeks and days have been shortened quickly.

Someone said they wish Christmas would last forever. Interesting comment, I thought. Imagine that ...Christmas forever?

No doubt January is lurking right around the corner, with bills waiting to be settled. It is imperative that we exercise financial prudence and avoid excessive indulgence.

But despite this legitimate concern, we would like to make everyone happy. Bahamians love Christmas...I know I do. But the commercialisation of Christmas by maxing out credit cards and bank accounts is unacceptable.

Christmas is approached as a commercial event, with much emphasis on material things that possibly may not fuel true happiness. Nonetheless, we will not chit-chat about Graphic Design, but pay tribute to the festive seasons and reflect on the needy and the true meaning of Christmas.

Some of us might not want to be bothered by the poor, hungry or needy, due to the fact that we might be too consumed with our own happiness and ensuring that we can impress with gifts creating an illusion of vast wealth.

But, as we enjoy our sumptuous meals, it is good to remember the less fortunate by offering a little gift seasoned with love, which can go a long way. Remember, compassion puts love into action.

On another note, while browsing the Mall and bouncing to the tune of the Junkanoo music rocking in the background, I couldn’t help but observe the anxiety and excitement on the patrons’ faces.

Everyone was just spending, buying and purchasing, yet the sad and depressed faces did not go unnoticed. While there I ran into a friend, and casually asked what will they be doing for Christmas. The response was: “The same thing I did today and yesterday, get high or drunk, because I don’t have anything to celebrate.”

This was moving. Of course, I recognise that we are not all problem-free, as everyone has at some point experienced some sort of deep-rooted issue, but this response was painful when I realise how many other people nticipated a pretty lame Christmas.

Other people’s despair might not be what we wish to think about at Christmas time, especially when we are having fun. But there’s a world outside our window that awaits a little smile or joy, and he who does not have Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. However, the gift of life is really to treasure every single day as opposed to simply celebrating special occasions.

By and large, advertisements were out in full force, and yes, bumper stickers and t-shirts with slogans such as: “Jesus is the Reason for the season.” All the same, throughout 2012 a lot of depressing things transpired, but we must continue to believe that there is still some good left in the world.

As a result, when we attend church this season, let’s reflect on the homeless men and women on the streets, as there are a growing number of them. Think about children without parents, and victims who have lost loved ones.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live peacefully every day, and be kind to our fellow man 365 days a year, as opposed to one day? Wouldn’t you agree that giving once a year is a poor remedy for promoting peace and goodwill?

Subsequently, I have personally concluded that we need not fabricate religious or commercial excuses to do good things that should be done every day. As we close this year, we will remember that the presents the Wise Men brought were not the real gift; the real gift was the child himself, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.Until we meet again, fill your life with memories rather than regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game.

NB: Columnist welcomes feedback at deedee21bastian@gmail.com

ABOUT COLUMNIST: Ms Bastian is a trained graphic designer. She has trained at institutions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College of the Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.

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