A topic of global importance at the end of each year is the celebration of and planning for the festive period! Christmas being a religious festival, celebrated by Christians all over the world, is also a cherished occasion for all Mauritians, followed by New Year parties and visits to friends and family. We also have the much-awaited end of year corporate events with colleagues, and possibly even with clients. While most of us could be planning for hearty gatherings at home, others would be visiting close ones in elderly homes and orphanages. A very special thought to those who may find themselves lonely, while others celebrate together!


Travelling is a must for many at this time of the year, with children on school holidays and parents taking overseas leave. After choosing the desired budget and vacation destination, key issues to confirm (especially if not staying with family or friends abroad), are the hotel and tour packages. On the other hand, foreigners would also be flocking to Mauritius. According to trends, tourist arrivals are at a peak in December compared to other months of the year. Statistics Mauritius informs that 11.6 % of 1,038,334 tourist arrivals occurred in the month of December for the year 2015, 11.5 % of 1,151,252 in 2015, and 11.6 % of 1,275,227 in 2016 respectively.


Shopping is usually required for us to gift others (you may prefer to offer lovely flowers from your own garden instead), and also catering for planned and unplanned get-togethers. Physical visits to shops and malls, or online shopping with home / office or post office deliveries may be preferred. Your available budget, preferences and lifestyle usage of the person who would receive the gift need to be considered in advance. You may make a wish list using traditional pen and paper, Excel spreadsheet, or if on the move, you may prefer to use your phone calendar and notes, or download free note taking and budgeting apps for better planning and forecasting. Seasonal promotions are sure to come!


Electrical lightings and firecrackers cannot be ignored for the excitement and thrill they bring! However, I’d personally prefer taking care of my frightened puppy instead, and abstain from too much noise. If you do choose to light firecrackers, do follow all due safety precautions that apply. Drink and drive must absolutely be avoided! Choosing a designated driver and agreeing in advance who will take the wheel and not drink while partying out is an absolute must, to organize your group of friends and prevent any road accidents. From time to time, do keep an eye on your designated driver, to see if he / she really isn’t taking alcohol!


Last but not least, do you wish to plan for your 2018 New Year resolutions? Starting from detox and exercise after all the partying, to scoring higher in exams, working to make sure you get that promotion at work, spending more time with loved ones, engaging in social work, possibilities are endless! Reading books about how to keep our resolutions, coupled with perseverance to do so, could help in achieving more!


While we pray, rejoice and spend time with the important people in our lives, may we all remember to take the safety measures required for the smooth-running of this special season! My early best wishes to you and your family!


Sharvina Yallappa