Don’t let this nasty recession wreck your Christmas. One of the things I most like about the Christmas break is you have time to do more homely things for yourself, and more time to think of others. So often what people want is some company and thoughtfulness rather than expensive presents. The comfort of the family group, the warmth of neighbourliness is easier to achieve when you do not have to do battle with peak hour traffic or wait on a cold station for the delayed train.
Of course this Christmas has an economic shadow over it. On the High Street some famous stores are struggling. Many are nervous of how long their jobs will last or whether the incomes for their businesses will hold up. I am doing all I can to explain the crisis to government and to offer advice to try to lift us out of the downturn.
In the meantime against such a background the true spirit of Christmas can make a difference. The work of our local charities and the countless deeds of friendship and helpfulness of so many in our community are all the more welcome at a time when people are counting the pennies. I want to say a big Thank you to all the volunteers, carers, Mums and Dads, and good neighbours who do so much to make the lives of others better day by day.
Christmas got off to a good start in Wokingham thanks to the organisers of the Winter Carnival. The lights came on to the sound of the first carols. There are many good Christmas events planned over the days ahead to light up the dark winter days. If we can all recapture some of that magic of Christmas that most of us were lucky to experience as a child, it will have done its job. It’s not how much you spend or what it says on the label that makes the difference. It’s the spirit you do it in that matters most. Sometimes the most modestly priced gift gives the greatest joy because it is what the person wants, or because they are moved that you bothered.
So what can I give, poor as I am? Give my heart.