The Malta Independent 28 January 2023, Saturday
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TMID Editorial: The Christmas season

Saturday, 3 December 2022, 10:00 Last update: about 3 months ago

We have just entered December, and the Christmas season has begun.

People are getting ready to start their Christmas shopping, some have possibly already done this. People are planning their Christmas lunches and even New Years’ festivities. Some restaurants are already fully booked in terms of Christmas dining reservations.

Children will soon be let off of school for the holidays, and families will try to spend more time together. The stockings and Christmas trees will come out, Christmas lights will switch on, and for a few weeks people would try to be more cheerful than they normally are.

This Christmas also comes amid a global crisis, where inflation is rising, impacting everyone and everything. It means people might be more cautious in their spending this year altogether.

Chamber of SMEs CEO Abigail Agius Mamo noted that while consumers are going out to shop, they are doing it more cautiously, by budgeting and going out to shop with a purpose in mind. She said that after the Black Friday period, where consumer trends showed that people stuck to buying essential items, there is hope that Christmas shoppers will buy more non-essential items.

But regardless of shopping and gifts, that’s not what this period should really be about. It is true that the holiday season has become heavily commercialised, but it should also be about helping others. Each year during L-Istrina, the Maltese people show their big hearts, donating to help others who truly need our support. But we should not stop there.

There are people who have nobody to spend Christmas with. People who cannot make plans, or are struggling financially and are worried about how they will make Christmas special for their children. For some people, this time of year could bring about sadness, or feelings of failure, and this is something we all can help change.

We should try and reach out to people we may know who might be in such a situation. Spend some time with family members who might be lonely. Call them. Help them feel included. If we know family members are struggling financially, invite them over for Christmas lunch, that could help spare some expenses for them.

We should also try and help those who are less fortunate who we do not know. For instance, the Children’s Dreams initiative that is organised each year is one way people can help bring some Christmas cheer to children who would be going through a tough time.

Caritas tries to organise a Christmas Day lunch for people who would otherwise spend Christmas alone each year, or during Covid last year and the year prior delivered lunch to them instead due to restrictions. It is a fantastic initiative.

We could help others in our daily lives too. It can be by doing simple things, such as helping an elderly person carry their shopping. It doesn’t have to be about big gestures, it’s about being better versions of ourselves and helping others. Being better people should be our aim all year round, but perhaps this is a good time to start.

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