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Being present and presents important

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/12/2016

The head of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand says presents are an important part of Christmas but the best present is being there for loved ones.

Sometimes churches disapprove of consumerism at Christmas but the Right Rev Richard Dawson says presents are a welcome and important part of Christmas.

"Presents are a great way to remind others that they are important to us."

But he goes on to say celebrating the birth of Jesus should not be about spending and gifts don't need to be expensive.

The simple act of being present is important.

In New Zealand, more than 1.6 million people aged over 15 years old say that they feel isolated at least once a month.

"I believe our greatest gift is to address this loneliness in any way we can," says Rev Dawson, who is moderator of the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand.

While presents are unlikely to make a difference for those who are suffering great loss or hardship this Christmas, being present certainly will, he says.

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