In under 10 days, it will be Christmas Day 2016 and barely a week later the New Year 2017. It is time to unwind, relax and reflect.
On Christmas Day, Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour.
It is a time to share gifts with friends and family. It is also a time to make merry and feast the less privileged than us. It is all about love.
Shopping and more shopping tops festive season. My advice is that in whatever way we are spending our hard-earned money, avoid falling prey to impulse-buying.
Please ensure that you buy only what you need. You should have the discipline to mind your shopping basket or trolley, respect your shopping list. Do not be a buyer who gets carried away by contents of another shopper’s basket.
It is also important to remember that Christmas and New Year festivities have come before and will always be here. Therefore, celebrate responsibly. Those who drive, please drive carefully. Observe speed limits as it is better to be late than “the late”. Above all, do not drink and drive. Do not imitate Formula One drivers: They get paid, you will not. Remember: speed thrills, but also kills.
Many people travel away from their homes to celebrate the festivities with folks in the village or another town or indeed at a tourist resort. Ensure that your home and valuables are safe.
Text-and-drive is even more risky. In fact, it could also be worse than drunk-driving. Before you respond to an incoming call or WhatsApp text alert, always remember that no message is more important than your life. You can read and respond to that message at your next stop whereas your life cannot be replaced once you ram into the stationary vehicle ahead or, worse still, a speeding overtaking vehicle from the opposite direction.
Passengers on public transport should also keep an eye on their drivers. Your safety is in their hands so do not let them text while driving or indeed consume alcoholic beverages while driving.
When you want to withdraw money from automated teller machines (ATM), be wary of the people around ATMs before inserting your card. Stories abound of people who have been attacked at such places. Where possible, make it a point to transact at ATMs in busy points and not quiet or deserted places, especially when it is too early in the morning or getting dark.
To those in formal employment, many employers traditionally pay December salaries earlier than usual. Some have already gotten their pay whereas others will likely get their dues, in some cases including bonus, before Christmas Day. Please spend the money wisely. Do not spend money like it is more perishable than tomatoes.
To many of us, the festive season coincides with demands for farm inputs, school fees, rentals and merry expenditure. Be responsible by planning your expenditure and budgeting within your means. By all means, avoid living large on borrowed money.
Christmas and New Year festivities will always come and go. Do not get carried away. n