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Generosity unwrapped

War Cry comments on Christmas gift shopping

The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas is a tradition that dates back centuries

 WITH inflation reaching its highest level for six years and snow disrupting public transport in some parts of the country, there have been financial and practical obstacles to overcome in the annual challenge of shopping for Christmas presents and food.

For some, the hardship has proved too much and hundreds of families have turned to The Salvation Army for help with food hampers and gifts for their children. The generosity of others has made an impact for good at this time of the year.

For others, the frantic preparations are almost complete. Today (Saturday 23 December) is the penultimate shopping day before Christmas. High streets will be full of shoppers either buying their last-minute perishable food items or desperately searching for that perfect present for a loved one.

The giving and receiving of gifts at Christmas is a tradition that dates back centuries. Sadly, not every gift is well received. A survey carried out last Christmas by ING Bank found that 15 per cent of people questioned were unhappy with their Christmas presents, while 10 per cent could not remember what their gifts had been.

Desire

Such findings may lead some people to question why so much time and effort is put into the process of present shopping.

Could it be because there is a desire in most people to give – and that they enjoy the opportunity to be generous that Christmas brings? Certainly there are charities that receive far more donations from the general public at this time of year.

What our society needs, though, is for that generous spirit and concern for the welfare of others to continue after the wrapping paper is thrown away. If 2018 is to be a good year, then the gifts of love and goodwill to others need to extend beyond the tinsel and turkey of the next few days

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