Tag: christmas

Weird gifts

What is the worst Christmas gift you have ever received? My colleague’s gran once gave him got a repurposed school blazer with the emblem picked off; and someone else I know got an empty wooden box! My mum was once deeply insulted when someone gave her loo freshener for Christmas!

A Christmas gift might reveal that someone doesn’t really know your tastes or size, or might show that someone only shops the sales. However, how would you like a gift that revealed that someone knew your future?

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What I wish I could give my kids this Christmas

Published December 2018

As I write, it is the beginning of October and time to start thinking about accumulating gifts for various family members for Christmas. The shops are already putting up decorations and the catalogues are flowing in thick and fast.

So many choices, so much stuff, such a lot of gadgets and gizmos. Apparently, according to the US National Retail Federation projections, this year Americans will spend a staggering $600 billion on Christmas, and I’m sure us Aussies are not far behind.

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Are you suffering through Christmas?

Published Christmas 2018

Most people are familiar with the basics of the Christmas story and the manger scene of baby Jesus in the hay; however, they might think ‘well so what? Even if that is the historical basis for Christmas, it is irrelevant to me now in the 21st century.’

Christmas, to most Aussies, has come to mean presents, food and maybe some time off.

For some, though, it is not even a festive holiday but a hard time. Christmas may bring with it unnecessary debt, unwanted expectations, demanding social engagements and painful memories of family members who are no longer with us or relationships that have broken down.

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What are we waiting for?

Published Christmas 2019

“I just can’t wait to open my presents!” Isn’t that the cry of kids (and some adults!) at Christmas? The anticipation of seeing secret wrapped presents under the tree is often even more exciting than actually finding out what is inside them! We wait with expectation, for weeks, to find out what we will get and to taste the delicious food we specially prepare.

Waiting is hard. Not for Christmas morning, maybe. But life is full of other waiting times; we wait for a diagnosis, for true love, to recover from an illness, to stop hurting, to have children, to get work or to retire.Continue reading

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A Wonder-filled Life

Getty Images

The expression of the little girl in this photo is so delightful! It reminds us that children still have the capacity to be overcome with awe and wonder and excitement, in a way that us cynical and jaded adults seldom experience.

In the modern world where so many mysteries of science and biology have been discovered, where so many disasters and disappointments happen routinely, and where our lives are so busy, it is rare to feel awe.

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Getting Grateful

Christmas 2021

This Christmas, the second Covid Christmas of the world,  it would be easy to focus on the negative – foreign holidays we can’t go on, overseas family that we can’t see, online gifts that are delayed or unavailable. There may also be the more serious issues of a loved one passed or sick from Covid (or some other illness or accident), a lost job, less money due to reduced hours or lockdowns, or relationships that have failed due to enforced distance or smothering closeness.

American author Max Lucado says, “The good life begins not when circumstances change but when our attitude toward them does.”Continue reading

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Why is it so hard to receive?

Christmas article for 2016

Christmas is the time for presents, of giving and receiving. Children, especially, think that’s actually the definition of Christmas! We may fully expect that our spouses, family and friends give us something at this time of year. But what about other people, unexpectedly?

What if our neighbour, who we hardly know, gives us a lovely Christmas hamper? What if an acquaintance gifts us a really expensive item that they know we need? What if a perfect stranger in the supermarket queue offers us the few dollars that we are short?Continue reading

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Covid Christmas

Appeared in December 2020 edition

Let us imagine that this Christmas a Covid vaccine was released that was not only free but that those that took it said was 100% effective and lasted your whole lifetime. If you took it, you would never test positive and you would never sicken or die of Covid-19. You might get a few symptoms – a cough or a bit of chest pain – but you would never get the disease.

Would you take it?Continue reading

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