The response to the annual Mahurangi Matters appeal for presents and food for families who might be doing it tough this Christmas has again been heartwarming. Warkworth Lions, always so reliable, came in with boxes of toys, and the Warkworth Golf Club Nine Hole ladies were also very generous. But otherwise, it was just kind-hearted individuals putting their hand in their own pocket to put a smile on a stranger’s face on Christmas morning.
As traditions go, Christmas is about the only one that most Kiwis follow religiously, even if they aren’t religious. We put up trees, decorate houses and letterboxes, organise Secret Santas, put reindeer antlers on our cars, and experience angst over what to buy the favourite people in our lives. Some of us will go to church, others will visit relatives they haven’t seen since last Christmas, share wine, chocolates and homemade goodies with neighbours, and tidy up the house and garden in preparation for the big day.
Homebuilders’ Quentin Jukes gets ready to distribute some Christmas cheer.
We say it’s all about the children, which is true in part, but the time, effort and thought invested in trying to make other people happy at this time of year strikes a universal chord of goodwill. There is something comforting to the rhythm of this familiar routine and even more so when our generosity expands to embrace the wider community.
On that note, thank you Homebuilders and Warkworth Christian Foodlink for distributing all the donations, and we reserve a special thanks for all those souls who will be working or volunteering on Christmas Day – hospital and rest home staff, police, St John and possibly our firefighters if a BBQ gets out of control – to name just a few. You put the community first not just at Christmas, but the whole year through, and we salute you.
Merry Christmas from the Mahurangi Matters team.