The Gifts of Christmas

Updated: Jan 16

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (December 20, 2018)


Christmas is one of the favourite times of the year for me – there are beautiful decorations, the weather is getting cooler, so many festive parties to celebrate the season, and gift giving is such a joy. But it’s also one of the busiest times of the year – deadlines to meet before the year ends, gifts to buy, parties to attend, suitcases to pack for vacations. In the midst of the busyness, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas.


For those of us who are Christians, Christmas carries a special meaning of remembering the birth of Jesus, God’s gift to the world by sending His son, the savior of the world. Even for people who aren’t Christians, Christmas carries the spirit of giving. But sometimes we can get so caught up in giving gifts that we don’t give things that are even more precious than physical gifts.


What are some gifts that we can give that don’t cost a thing?


1. The gift of time


I know people say that ‘time is money’ but it is so much more precious; perhaps the most precious commodity in our busy world. And in this season, let’s take the time to carve out time to spend it with people who are dearest to us. Whether it’s at a lavish meal or just huddling around a simple snack, the gift of time of the most precious gift we can give to our loved ones.


2. The gift of a listening ear


Christmas is a time to celebrate but for some, it might be a challenging time of loneliness because family may be far away or it could be a reminder of a time of loss of a loved one. For those, people, giving the gift of a listening ear and a being a source of comfort could be the greatest gift.


3. The gift of a hug


I’m an avid hugger and love giving hugs. They don’t cost a thing but have the power to convey a powerful message – ‘you are loved’, ‘I’m here for you’, ‘I’m so happy to see you’. We come from a culture that is not keen on physical touch but there is something powerful about it. I once heard that everyone needs 7 hugs a day from different people so go out and start giving some out today!


4. The gift of care


One thing I love about Christmas is how people show their love and care to those in need in the community. Every year, we bring our students to visit the elderly and bring Christmas cheer to them and we also host a gift drive so that children in hospitals can also receive Christmas gifts. So this Christmas, who will you choose to show care to? It could be visiting the elderly, supporting a charitable cause through donating items, taking underprivileged children out for an outing or handing out blankets to the homeless. Whatever it is, giving the gift of care often winds up being the giver being the most blessed.


5. The gift of peace


One beautiful part of the Christmas story is that Jesus was sent to the world as the ‘Prince of Peace’ and through him, we can be reconciled to God and have a relationship with Him. He is the One who gives us ultimate peace. So in this season, let’s also extend that peace to those around us. Is there anyone you need to forgive or anyone you need to ask forgiveness from? By doing so, we are giving the gift of peace and it is one of the most precious gifts we can give or receive.


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas that is filled with the gifts of time, kindness, generosity, care and peace!


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聖誕禮物


聖誕節是其中一個我最喜歡的節日——街上漂亮的佈置琳琅滿目、天氣驟涼、慶祝派對多姿多彩,還有為親友送上聖誕禮物所帶來的歡愉。與此同時,這段時間亦是全年最忙碌的日子——在年尾前趕「死線」、買禮物、出席派對、出國旅遊前忙著收拾行李……在百忙中,我們很容易就忘了聖誕節的真正意義。


對我們基督徒來說,聖誕節別具意義,它是紀念耶穌誕生的日子,上帝差派祂的兒子來到這個世界拯救世人。而對非基督徒來說,聖誕節亦是分享的時刻,然而,我們在送禮物的時候,往往會忘記無形的「禮物」比有形的禮物來得更珍貴。


我們可以為身邊的人送上什麼無價的禮物?


1. 時間


很多人都說「時間就是金錢」,但時間顯然比金錢更珍貴,或許更是步伐急速的生活中最昂貴的商品。在聖誕節,我們不妨花時間與至親共度美好時光,不論是吃一頓豐富的聖誕大餐,還是圍在一起吃頓家常便飯,時間從來都是一份我們可以為至親送上的珍貴禮物。


2. 用心聆聽


聖誕節是普天同慶的日子,但對一些離鄉別井或失去至親的人而言,聖誕節或會喚起他們的傷心回憶,令他們倍感孤單。對這些人來說,用心聆聽及安慰會是最好的禮物。


3. 擁抱


我是一個非常喜歡擁抱的人,擁抱不需要花費一分一毫,卻能傳達強烈訊息——「你是被愛的」、「我會在你身邊」、「很高興見到你」。中國人傳統上不太習慣與人有身體接觸,但擁抱所帶來的力量實在強大。我曾聽過每個人在一天裡需要被七個不同的人擁抱,就讓我們從今天開始擁抱身邊的人吧!


4. 關懷


我們每年聖誕節都會帶學生探訪長者,送上祝福,亦會舉辦禮物送贈計劃,讓住院的小朋友都可以收到聖誕禮物。這個聖誕,你會如何向身邊的人送上關懷?可以是探訪長者、向慈善機構捐贈物資、帶基層家庭的小朋友外出或為無家者送上棉被,無論形式為何,施比受更為有福。


5. 平安


聖誕故事中最美的一部分是講述耶穌為上帝差派而來的「和平之子」,我們可以透過祂與上帝和好並建立關係,唯有祂可以帶給我們平安。你想原諒誰或被誰原諒?在這個節日裡,就讓我們跟身邊的人分享這份平安、這份每個人都可以送贈及領受的禮物。


在此預祝各位讀者今年的聖誕都能滿載以上五份無價的禮物!


2018年12月20日(香港經濟日報)



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