Everyone loves a bargain! And it doesn’t matter if it’s something we don’t really need; the answer is often the same-it’ll come in handy one day. And for most of us, Black Friday, or White Friday as my husband likes to call it (don’t ask me why), is where it all begins, as we try to bag a bargain or two in readiness for Christmas, except that this year I wasn’t able to be a part of the shopping brigade. Now, I wish I could have told you that my willpower had kept me out of the shops but no, I had taken the day off to spend some time with the Lord and didn’t want to be distracted, otherwise I would have been out there too, doing my bit for humanity, and like most people feeling a sense of accomplishment at having bought four gift items for the price of two, some of which will probably end up back in the shop or in a garden shed somewhere after the excitement of showing off our “many presents” on social media is all over. It’s almost become a competition of who got the most gifts and sometimes as parents we fall into that trap too. I know it can be quite tricky especially with young children because as parents we are often judged by the gifts we bestow on our children. But ask yourself. Does your two- year old really need that many presents considering that he or she is way too young to appreciate what they’re being given? I’d say save your money for when they are much older and for now simply get them what they really need.

And for the slighter older kids, I mean those of school age, its’s worth letting them know that gifts don’t make Christmas. Let your celebrations be centred around the person of Christ instead of the gifts. Gifts are lovely, of course, but they are not the essence of Christmas. Christ is, and Christmas will be just as relevant, with or without the gifts. And instead of buying the kids multiple gift items, get them to choose one thing they really want and let them know that the money which would have been spent buying them another gift item (which they probably don’t need, anyway), will be spent buying a gift for a child, who’s in need this Christmas. Do this year after year and you would have inculcated in your children something that they’ll probably be passing on to their own children in years to come.

And if you end up with an unwanted gift item this Christmas, don’t throw it in a garden shed somewhere. Donate to a charity helping vulnerable children and you would have done your bit for humanity.

Have a lovely Christmas and remember Jesus is the reason for the season!