A merry Christmas is followed by a happy New Year, and the Chinese New Year is around the corner. We were relieved after a year’s work and enjoyed ourselves in a feast of celebrations. Our expenses also magnified last month. Many people can’t resist the pleasure of festival shopping and the excitement of unpacking a present from delicate boxes. However, do you still remember the real meaning of having holidays?

The essence of holidays is that we have a chance to slow down, to express our deepest appreciation to our beloved ones and think about the future. During holidays, excessive consumption and over-eating are common. We should always keep in mind that all things are made from depletable resources on the planet. Are you a wise customer? Are you environmentally concerned about what you buy? Let’s slow down and rethink our purchasing habits.

Stomachs will be overloaded if too much food goes in, no matter how delicious it is. A few extra bites during meals might result in extra pounds which drive you crazy after the holidays, so do keep exercising and control your diet. Also, remember that the value of gifts doesn’t increase in proportion to the dollars you have spent, but your worries about paying credit card bills do. Avoid over-packaging when you purchase gifts. Think about what others wish to receive or need as presents and value practical applicability more than fancy packaging. If you examine your trash cans, you may find that many nice packaging materials are lying there sadly because you have never looked at them twice. Wasting is a seriously crime! What we easily throw away is at the expense of someone else’s efforts to make the world a nice place for us.

The greatest scientist Albert Einstein once wrote, “ A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…”

Love doesn’t need packaging, so why do the gifts that function as carriers of love need to be heavily packaged? Love can’t be bought so, apart from necessities, what is all that time-killing shopping for? Take time to reflect more, and let peace and joy be upon all of us throughout the New Year and other festivals to come!