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Money Talk with Nimi: Giving – The True Meaning of Christmas



XmasChristmas is a time, when families come together, homes are decked out with Christmas trees decorated with tinsel, ornaments and lights, sumptuous meals are prepared and Christmas carols waft through the air as people dash about for their last minute shopping spree. In a sense it has become all about money; amidst it all, it is so easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. What can you do this year that epitomizes the true spirit of Christmas?

Teach your children the gift of giving
We all love to see the excitement on our children’s faces on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning ripping the wrapping paper off their presents. The experience of receiving piles of gifts makes them believe that they must have lots of new things for Christmas to be perfect. Try to emphasize the non-material aspects of the season, such as family, fellowship and thoughtfulness.

It is not enough to just tell our kids to be charitable and kind. Some time during this Christmas season, perhaps you can find time to visit an orphanage, a homeless shelter, an old people’s home, or some of the flood victims who recently lost everything that they owned. Our own actions in supporting others will speak louder than any thing we can say. We must guide them through a program of action so that becomes ingrained into their psyche. It teaches them a powerful lesson about kindness and generosity and that their personal money or talent can have a positive effect on the wellbeing of others. It will also show them graphically how fortunate they are; they take so much forgranted.

A thoughtful gesture
The high cost of living and unemployment means that many Nigerians face a dismal Christmas and cannot afford a special meal on Christmas day. If as you shop, your trolley is overflowing with goodies, why not shop for another family that faces really difficult times and then have it delivered to their doorstep.

There are so many people in need of the simple things that so many of us may take for granted. Think about all the food that goes to waste on Christmas day and what a difference it would make to the numerous homeless people who would be glad for a decent meal and some of the clothes you don’t need.

Elderly cheer
Have you ever visited an old peoples home in Nigeria? Get a few friends, put some money together and take some gifts and treats to the elderly who have found themselves in one of some thirteen old peoples homes in the country, in spite of our extended family system. Cheer them up; the gift of happiness and good stimulating company for an old person who might be lonely during Christmas, would make such a difference.

Give back to society through philanthropy
The definition of a philanthropist is “someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes”. By giving back to your community, religious organizations, for education, or for sports or for the arts, you afford yourself the opportunity and indeed the privilege of making a positive impact on other people’s lives. Material possessions will eventually lose their shine, but through philanthropy, one can help others, and can shape or even save lives.

Decide what causes you may want to support and then review your finances to decide how much you can afford to give. Will it be a one off donation this Christmas or is it something you can continue to commit to year on year. Narrow your choices down to a few charities or causes you feel comfortable with and do some research on them to ensure that their ethos and mission is in consonance with your core values; then choose say one or two to support. Try to follow up to see how your donation is being used. When you see the impact it is having, you will feel encouraged to give more.

Give to your alma mater
Do you often reminisce about how things used to be at your old school and how far standards have fallen? Why don’t you do something about it? With an endowed gift, you can provide permanent support for the educational institution. Your contributions will be invested and each year a distribution made to fund the program or area that matches your interest in a particular field of study. Once it is officially established, you or anyone else may continue to add to the fund at any time. You may also decide to, through the title, forever link your name or that of a family member to excellence at the college. You contribution will go a long way in improving the standards of education so badly needed in our country.

Give of your time
Even if you have had a really hard year and it sounds absurd to even conisder giving what you don’t have, focus instead of being grateful for what you do have. If you look around, you will find that there is always someone worse off than you are. Giving does not mean that you must give only financially; there are several ways to give meaningfully. The possibilities of giving of your time, experience, talent and intellect are endless and by sharing your knowledge with others you can add value to your community in this way.

As we get caught up in the whirlwind of festivity, socializing and present buying, it is little wonder that we often forget the true meaning of Christmas. How can you make a difference? If you haven’t been doing much for others before now, Christmas is a good time to start. As we celebrate Christmas, let us not forget what we have been given; God’s gift of His Son Jesus Christ. This Christmas, let us be a blessing to others.

Merry Christmas!

Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private banking and wealth management. She is passionate about encouraging financial independence and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance and wealth management issues. She is married with 3 children.Find out more via

Nimi Akinkugbe has extensive experience in private wealth management. She seeks to empower people regarding their finances and offers frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance.


  1. mimi Rowlz

    December 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Well said…I admire people of her sort, if people of high status think like this, our country will be cured of these illness called poverty, frustrations, depressions and even lack of understanding. People are have dis nonchallant attitude of not caring bout others. May God give me the grace to focus on my goals cuz I need a change and so does everybody else.

  2. mimi Rowlz

    December 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Scratch the *are its a typo. Thanks.

  3. iamfascinating

    December 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Truth. Thanks, Nimi

  4. popoo

    December 25, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Is the any Old Peoples home in Port harcourt and Motherless Babies home also. Address please.Thank Merry Christmas all.

  5. Claire

    December 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Very nice piece, thanks Nimi!

  6. Temilade

    December 25, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Nice but boring

  7. jyde

    December 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I quietly pondered as to if BN would write such an article,to try and make those of us well off to acknowledge our advantages over the millions of fellow nigerians who didnt know it was x-mas,let alone what day it was.
    Im glad to say someone has addressed this issue.
    While many of us pile our tables till they creaked from overloading,numerous death,tears,evil sadness and tragedies marked the x-mas day of millions.
    The injustice,insensitivity greed, bloodshed,went unnoticed as usual.
    Our failed state,nation country of normal accepted sadism and wickedness marked x-mas day for many as x-mas day for millions in nigeria.Yes x-mas day was just another day of sadness and tragedy for many,even those of us with too much secretly pondered what would happen to us after our lavish day of excess come tomorow,
    I paint a cruel nasty picture,OF THE TRUTH.
    Did any of us say grace and end with god please help those less well off?
    Did any of us help any less well off,strangers,not family in any way?
    I certainly didnt follow the example of my pastor(MAN OF GOD)and ignore the plight of many without.
    Rather than pay fake homage to to the self serving,without compassion decency kindnesss in which satan enjoys watching lost souls deprive others from a few crumbs,i took an ill advised move and fed a few less lucky.
    Yes ive been scorned as foolish and advertising my own downfall,but it feels good.
    It beats exalting ignorance,mediocraty, greedy incompetant rouges who scorn us with our learned knoweledge and excellent ideas which sadly has no place in a nation that exalts fools with power and money.
    I know my words will be treated with contempt and scorned upon,as the truth has no place amonst those who couldnt care less,but back to the question at heart.
    Did any of us even pray,think about the starving poor?
    Did any of us feed any hungry after gourging ourselves to excess?
    Glad to see BN didnt forget our poor less well off hunry people.
    Its not to late to share with the hungry,give it a try folks,the feeling of having made others smile and happy is a good one.Trust me i know.
    I close mouth.And leave you to look at your mountains of leftovers and then the faces of those who will hail you till kingdom come.

  8. Ade

    December 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    God bless you Nimi. This is a great article and it is a very truthful one. We pray in Jesus Name: Thank You God for giving us Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. As we celebrate Your birth Lord Jesus, we thank You for the gift of life and love we find in knowing You. Our Christmas gift to You Lord is everything we have and hope to be. We love You Lord in Jesus Name-Amen. Merry Christmas everyone!

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