BEGINS Hugh Hunter: “After every Christmas, I promise myself that next Christmas I will be very well-organised, I will have written all my cards and presents bought well ahead of the day. Does that sound familiar?
“In reality, we all make great plans, then work, family commitments, social events and other things take up our time. We often then find ourselves in the weeks and days up to Christmas rushing around trying to do all those things that we said we would have done long before the big day.
“Sometimes at Christmas, I think that we can all be so busy planning and looking forward to the event that we forget to stop, take a breath and enjoy the moment. After all, the essence of Christmas is celebrating a significant time in many peoples religious calendar.
“this year, with the current global economic climate, I think that people are watching very carefully the amount that they spend on Christmas. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is not the amount of money that we spend on a card or a gift that matters but the thought that goes into it. This is something that can sometimes get forgotten during the festive season.
“For many people Christmas Day will be another working day. Police officers, fire and rescue officers and hospital staff will be carrying out their duties as normal, looking after us in their special way. I would like to thank them and their families for their dedication to serving their communities.
“On Christmas Day, I will be saying a special prayer for servicemen and women who are on active duty abroad, serving their country.
“I know that for anyone who has lost a loved one during the last year, through whatever circumstances, the festivities will be a particularly difficult time for their families and friends. I will be doing everything I can to support anyone I know in this position, and I would urge you to do the same.
“Wherever you will be spending this Christmas, and whoever you will be spending it with, enjoy your celebrations.
“2009 is just around the corner, and my wish is that the New Year will bring harmony, peace and prosperity to you all.”
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