National | Christmas

How Pio Terei can help you and your whānau enjoy Christmas minus the stress

At this time of year many whānau are struggling to get to the finish line, juggling work deadlines, Christmas shopping, whānau commitments and feeling the pressure to do all the traditional Christmas things on a really, really tight budget.

But Parenting Place ambassador and Whakaata Māori television host Pio Terei has ideas for everyone so they can enjoy the festive times without the financial and time stress.

"For me, as someone in my more mature years, we didn't have a lot of Christmas as kids but we had a lot of aroha and time together. So I think if we're going to buy into the commercial side of Christmas, we're setting up ourselves for a bit of heartbreak, a bit of failure, a bit of stress."

While it might be tough to do at first, Terei encourages whānau to just simply sit down together and talk to their tamariki about the tough times they have been through, as a means to still have Christmas but without presents.

Pio Terei gives his ideas to keep the Christmas spirit going in difficult times.

He also encourages whānau to do something that includes their household and their surrounding neighbours, such as Christmas cards, to keep the Christmas spirit alive for everyone.

"The gesture that you're putting your kids in a situation where they're giving aroha makes them feel good and then compliment them on their kindness."

Cooking together where everyone lends a hand or tamariki learn the whānau recipes, and paying it forward by donating kai to food banks and the like, are all on Pio's help list.

"It's about connection and food. It's about those basic things that make whānau whānau."

For anyone who is travelling, Terei implores them to plan the journey - make stops, take in the surroundings, don't rush the trip and so on.

"Celebrate the fact that we've got whānau and whenua that we can actually get together - we're millionaires without the budget. Make sure we don't let those things pass us without quantifying their value."

For Terei, what Christmas looks like for him and his whānau is simple. "I surround myself with people who love me and people who I love. It doesn't take much for us to start having a good time."

Public Interest Journalism