MIRI: With Christmas just around the corner, most malls as well as supermarkets are already putting up their discounts and promotional banners to attract customers.
“Christmas can be a very exciting time to shop but sometimes we could get carried away and end up over spending,” said Kijan Toynbee, a former political secretary to the Chief Minister when met recently.
According to her, it is important to shop according to your means and not to be influenced by advertisements or promotions you see on the television or banners.
“I believe Christmas is about celebrating together with your family and friends and not about what you have in your house or serve on your table.
“Your family and friends come to visit you on Christmas, not to see what you have in your house. They visit you because they appreciate you as their family member and as their friend,” she said.
In view of the rising price of goods and essentials, Kijan urged those doing their Christmas shopping to spend wisely and only make necessary purchases.
“Especially parents with school going children, they will have to spend again before the start of next year, to buy school items and uniforms for their children.
“So it would be better for them to spend wisely and put aside some money to buy their children’s school accessories. If not, they will feel burdened when they have to spend again before the end of the year. Perhaps they could list out what they really need before going shopping so that they do not end up buying unnecessary things,” she urged.
Kijan added that Christmas is the best time for families to get together and the focus should be on having a quality time with one another, not to show-off to each other what they have.
She pointed out that a simple Christmas celebration would still be meaningful if it is celebrated with a grateful heart and in the spirit of tolerance, love and humility.
To those planning to go back to their villages to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, she advised them to plan their journey properly.
Kijan recently organised a pre-Christmas gathering for Orang Ulu women as well as their friends and family members at Dynasty Hotel here. Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau was among about 100 guests at the event.
“I am very happy with the turnout. Many Orang Ulu came because it was an opportunity for them to see each other. On other days, they are busy with other routines and also work.
“We hope to make the event bigger in the future and gather more members of the Orang Ulu community, so that everyone can have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas together,” she said.