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I remember when we were young. Xmas was a time for whanau and friends to get together, share kai, share korero and reflect over the past year. Oh and then there were the presents!

But they weren’t the focus, and I’m really grateful that in my childhood and over the years I have learnt to value people.

I understand the importance of xmas for some people but I choose not to indulge in the extravagant spending that goes on at xmas. I see so many whanau feel obligated to buy gifts at xmas and then they suffer in the new year when they have to find the money again that they didn’t have to buy presents in the first place! Its like that!

If xmas is about giving gifts, then why not give the gift of aroha, the gift of love, the gift of manaakitanga – looking after and feeding another person. These are gifts that don’t cost a thing, that can be given and received freely and I guarantee that if given to a child all the years of their life, at every xmas, they will know about the importance of valuing and loving people and more importantly, they will grow up confident and will know who they are.


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