Vincy Workplace
December 17, 2004
The gift of Christmas common sense

A visit to our archives has produced this holiday treasure. Let’s remember the true reason for the season.

Christmas in the Caribbean is second to none – family, friends, black cake, ham, an abundance of food and drink, toys for the kids, new curtains, big barrels coming from the U.K. and USA, a fresh coat of paint for the house, carolling, Nine Mornings and the list goes on. {{more}}

There is no doubt that it’s a joyous time but we need to be wise about how we work and spend our money.

Manage your time. It’s easy to be tempted to take extra-unauthorized time off now to welcome visiting family members or just get last minute chores done. Be careful, jobs are scarce and that extra time at lunch or break may cost you later.

Separate your professional and personal life. It’s impossible not to share small pieces of your personal life with coworkers during the holidays. However, avoid spending too much time talking about all your plans and neglecting your assignments and customers.

Create a budget for the season. Companies do it and so should your family. Don’t spend what you don’t have and avoid borrowing just to buy things for the holidays that are not absolute necessities.

Grow up and stop competing. There is a tendency to try to outdo the neighbours during the holidays; this is not the year to engage in such juvenile behaviour.

Cherish your family. Tough economic times have not only hit the Caribbean, but relatives abroad are also feeling the squeeze. Don’t get upset if you do not get the many barrels and parcels you grew accustomed to getting at this time. Be thankful for just having your family alive and well.

Remember, a Caribbean Christmas has always been about family. Keep it simple and stay within your means.

• Karen Hinds is an international author, speaker and consultant and president

of Karen Hinds Seminars. Send comments and suggestions to