by Michael Goodman
“A time to remember” may not be the most common phrase associated with Christmas, but perhaps it ought to be.
As we get increasingly caught up in the frenetic activity leading up to the ‘big day’, it is easy to forget the difference between what matters and what doesn’t; the difference between what we want and what we need; the difference between selfishness and selflessness, and perhaps most important of all, the real meaning of Christmas.
So why not make this Christmas different simply by remembering.
Remember the poor, the elderly and those less fortunate than you, and perform an act of kindness. It could be as undemanding as a telephone call, a home visit, or a modest gift of food or clothing which, whilst it may take only a little effort on your part, could transform Christmas for the recipient.
Doing something simple yet thoughtful and generous of spirit for others might also remind you to be thankful for what you have, however meagre it may seem to you sometimes, and may also encourage you to remember those at home and abroad whose Christmas has been devastated by circumstances and events both natural and man-made.
Even in these financially challenging times, it seems we are overwhelmingly obsessed with gift giving. But remember that the true value of a gift is the thought behind it and not its monetary value. A carefully chosen gift or even one hand-made by the giver will mean a great deal more than a lavish one; or at least it should.
And even if a gift received is not to your liking, you may never know the thought and effort that went in to choosing, purchasing or creating it, so it is also worth remembering how important it is to receive with good grace, as well as to give without expectation of gratitude.
Remember that spending time together with family can be a wonderful thing to which many look forward with eager anticipation. But it can also be extremely fraught and stressful when family members who do not usually gather together in one place are forced to spend time in close proximity to others with whom they have “issues”.
Remember this “get-together” is just for a few hours on one day of the year and in keeping with the spirit of the season, make a special effort to set aside differences and recognise the importance of ensuring that the gathering is remembered as an enjoyable one. Perhaps by taking a few precious moments to remember with love and affection those who are no longer with us, we may remember to value more the time we have with those who still are.
But most important of all, regardless of your beliefs, whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or none of the above, don’t forget to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Let it transcend religion, for this is as good a time as any to put into practice the virtues and values that Christmas embraces.
Don’t just use words and clich?s, but prove by your actions that you understand the meaning of love, joy, hope, peace and goodwill to all men, for in doing so, you may discover that they are each and all the source of great happiness.
Make this a Christmas to remember.
* Join Michael Goodman & Peter Boyce for the last in the current series of Bajan Living on Monday 24th December, 2-3pm, on 100.7 QFM Barbados or online at qfm.bb. Find us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org