Some years ago, one of my daughters said to me, ‘Daddy, all I want for Christmas is a goat.’
Having avoided pet rats, cats and horses due to my allergy to such things which includes asthma and a hip pocket nerve, I thought to myself, how will I get out of this one?
‘Mmm a goat, how we will we feed a goat? Where will we keep it? What about a goldfish?’
‘No Daddy, not for us, for the family in Africa.’ She then presented me with an impressive shopping list in the World Vision Christmas pamphlet. This was no ordinary shopping list; it included goats, water projects, trees, school supplies, medical supplies and mosquito nets.
So we bought the goat. Each year since we have stopped giving cousins, uncles and aunts presents. We have replaced that tradition with another. One family from our extended family chooses a charity and the other families make a donation to that charity.
Christmas is a time of giving, but do we need any more clutter, or to receive things we do not need or to experience the guilt associated with how much should be spent in a mad rush to find a present for every uncle, aunt, and cousin? The approach is great for the retailers, and retail is an important industry, but does the approach add value to the family and wider world?
I encourage your family to have the dinner table debate. Consider a family gift to those items in shopping lists provided by World Vision, Oxfam and Baptist World Aid. You can logon to those and other reputable organisations for their shopping lists, or pick up a Baptist World Aid shopping list online.
As a proudly Baptist Christian school we are enjoying a number of lovely Christmas celebrations. The birth of Christ is a great reason to celebrate with the gathering of friends and family to share that celebration. Let us not forget the wonderful example Jesus gave us.
Carey is fortunate. We have a strong and caring school community. Almost all our students want to be at Carey. They appreciate the opportunities they are given. They learn in a values-enriched environment and are blessed with many fine teachers and supported by a large and dedicated professional staff. Thank you to all of the Carey staff for your wonderful contributions.
On behalf of the School I thank all those who have contributed to an enjoyable and successful year: students, staff, parents, volunteers and Old Grammarians.
To those staff and students leaving Carey at the end of this year, thank you for enriching the life of Carey. I hope you take with you wonderful memories of your time at Carey and that you can now move forward with confidence, knowing that you can make a difference in our world.
I hope that each of you have a joyous Christmas, a Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday. I look forward to sharing another busy and enjoyable year with you in 2019.