Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

This week in my Crawley Observer column, I have written about Christmas given that the paper came out today on Christmas Eve. May I wish everyone in Tilgate and Furnace Green, Crawley and West Sussex, and anyone reading this anywhere in the world, a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
"This week sees the start of the Christmas holiday and the last week of 2014. Christmas Day is the one day of the year when we collectively press the pause button on our hectic pace of life in the 21st Century. It is a day when most of us take a day off and the country at large relaxes. The vast majority of shops, offices and factories are closed, and the traffic on our roads is much less with a noticeable absence of Lorries. Most public transport ceases and Gatwick Airport is virtually a ghost town with very few flights.   
I believe this is how it should be for one day out of 365 in a year.  Christmas will mean different things to different people but there should be one day a year when the norm is for us to have a very peaceful day with the pressures of everyday life forgotten. However, I always respect anyone who has to work on Christmas Day, as well as those who are away from their families such as those serving in the Armed Forces.

I take the view that as few people as possible should have to work on Christmas Day as it is such a unique and special day, and we should always be grateful to those who spend Christmas Day looking after others in need. I believe that a peaceful Christmas break allows time for reflection, an opportunity to think about the true meaning of Christmas and how going forward, we can focus on what we feel is important in life.
It does sometimes feel like there is ever more pressure to commercialise Christmas, both in its run up and from Boxing Day onwards; with the media appearing to judge how successful Christmas is by how busy the shops are. My own view is that a better guide to the success of Christmas would be how many of us are celebrating the birth of Jesus, but whatever you may be doing over the next week, may I wish all readers of the Crawley Observer a very happy and peaceful Christmas."

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