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Christmas time - “It’s less about the gift giving and more about the time giving”
Updates / News , 23 Dec 21
With Christmas upon us, Dr David Tan offered some advice and encouragement to Pacific families in a recent Ngalu Fānifo mental health segment on the Pacific Days Show on 531 PI.

Despite the range of challenges for families this year as a result of the Covid-19 Delta outbreak, Dr Tan says it is a good time to reflect and pause as we near the end of the year. 

“If we think of Ngalu Fānifo, we’re expecting the waves to event out and this should be a pleasant time. If we’re talking about what a parent can do for their children, have some time off to spend with them.

It’s the time you spend with the children, rather than the presents. It’s less about the gift giving and more about the time giving.

Encourage reflecting and look at what the year has been like. No matter how young you are, give everyone an opportunity to look back at the year.”

Dr Tan also encourages families to get out in nature and step away from social media to refresh and reflect as a family.  

“Summer is a beautiful time to get out into nature. You understand how small you are, but also how you’re part of the universe, part of God’s creation, whether it’s faith based, a sense of spirituality or a connection with nature. That’s an important thing to fire up the endorphins and feel better. 

I would also say coming off social media and not being inundated with information is important. That’s role modelled by parents; it’s important though that you have your own time because sometimes it can be stressful, so make sure you have you time and not just children time.”

Dr Tan says it is important to maintain a positive attitude and express gratitude as we continue to live in the new norm.

“One of the important things Pacific people are really good at is gratitude. Try to emphasize to your children that this is our end of year get together and is not us being locked up; it’s different to our 15 week lockdown we’ve had in Auckland. It’s good to differentiate that and know that this is a celebration of the year.

The other thing to reduce any anxieties is sticking to a routine. Celebrate but try and keep a routine, particularly if you have children or family members who are already anxious, so having predictability is key.”


The Ngalu Fānifo segment will be back on air in February 2022 once a week on 531’s Pacific Days show with Ma’a Brian Sagala. You can listen in on the radio or livestream on the 531 Facebook page here.

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Date: Friday 24 December 2021