This is the time of year where I usually talk about the pressure we all feel to spend on presents and food and decorations, and more. We spend what we can and then sometimes, fuelled by Christmas mania, we spend that bit more. Anticipating the eager faces of children and grandchildren can be enough to have us super-sizing the presents beyond what we can afford.
At the risk of repeating myself I’m going to say again, that when it comes to Christmas it doesn’t get much better than giving our time and our undivided attention. Across a busy year, both of those things can be in short supply. Sharing food, laughter, stories, listening and taking time, has enormous value. We often only truly understand its value when the moment and the opportunity has gone.
Older generations can be the best at living in the moment. They’ve seen enough of life to know that time is a precious thing. It is not to be taken for granted and it needs to be savoured, especially time with those around us who hold our history, where we can reflect on the year that’s gone and talk about our hopes for the year ahead.
So, let’s buy enough, but not too much, and let’s not get persuaded by the thousands of messages that will bombard us between now and December 25th, telling us all the things we or our families need, must have, or can’t do without.
Generally, the really big stuff doesn’t come in a box.
By Diane Maxwell, Retirement Commissioner