Season to take stock

All around us, traders are reminding us of how many days we have left to spend money on what they say are our loved ones.

All around us, traders are reminding us of how many days we have left to spend money on what they say are our loved ones.

It is a sad but subtle message that reminds us that the idea of Christmas as a time of gifts and festivity has come to have greater meaning than the gospel writers might have intended.

Christmas has unfortunately continued to become a festival of excess.

It is no great wonder that this time of the year - ironically meant to bring hope to the poor - counts for one of the biggest climbs in unnatural deaths.

This happens as a result of violence between people who know each other and are revelling together, or unfortunately, as a result of suicides and sometimes the wiping out of entire families because of the inability to handle the stress that comes with the financial and emotional demands of the season.

Without wanting to spoil your fun, we ask you to consider and perhaps rethink what it is that really matters to you this Christmas.

If nothing else pricks your conscience, remember that as you respond to the call to spend, in less than a month from today, schools, universities and fridges will once again demand that you part with money.

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