There's surely not much better than a Kiwi Christmas holiday.
It's a time to spend priceless time with friends and loved ones, to soak up the great outdoors and create precious memories to look back on for years to come.
It is also the season of giving.
When it comes to special gifts of 2018, few could be as special and emotional as the gift of life Australian-based Kiwi Mina Steedman-Prip gave her 4-week-old niece, Pīpīwharauroa (Pipi) Wallace in January.
It was the gift of life.
The 24-year-old made a mercy dash to New Zealand in January to provide part of her liver to a life-saving transplant for wee Pipi.
Tomorrow, Pipi's family will celebrate her first birthday at a special gathering in Tokoroa, and Mina will fly in for the event.
Talking in today's Herald on Sunday, the loving niece says of the transplant: "There was never any hesitation for me not to do it. It was great I was able to help her and giver her a chance at life and now we are here to celebrate her first birthday which is so exciting. This whole year we were never promised that this could happen so that's a miracle in itself."
Mina's gift not only saved her much-loved niece's life, it also touched the nation.
It was also a beacon of hope during a news year where headlines have featured less savoury moments: what then Labour cabinet minister Meka Whaitiri did or didn't do to a staff member, Donald Trump's latest rants on Twitter, Jami-Lee Ross' conduct, the Karel Sroubek fiasco and ongoing terrorist attacks around the globe.
When Mina found out how ill Pipi was, she contacted Starship hospital and asked to be tested if she could be a matching donor for her niece – making the approach without telling the rest of her family.
"She has been through so many obstacles," she said of Pipi. "I have learnt a lot from her strength and courage."
As we prepare for Christmas, and as 2018 nears its end, Mina's selfless and life-saving actions are a timely reminder that most of us Kiwis are good people and that is something we should all be proud of.
Wherever you are spending your festive break, be safe – especially when travelling on our roads and at our beaches. Both will be busier than usual as we make the most of summer breaks.
From the Herald on Sunday to you: Merry Christmas.