IT is that time of year again - people are rushing around to get their last few presents, families are preparing to descend on each other for a day of food, festivities and fun and youngsters are crawling the walls as they await the arrival of Santa - yes folks, it’s Christmas.
Now, normally when I put pen to paper for a column in the Mail, I can be accused of being a bit of a scrooge or being a bit miserable.
But to all of my fans out there, you will be pleased to know that for once there will be no moaning from this column today as I love Christmas.
I love the fact that it is cold outside so that I can wear my hat, scarf and gloves.
I love seeing homes, shopping centres and the like decorated with all manner of trees and assorted festive ornaments.
I like the fact that it is probably one of the only times of the year when people are relaxed and in a genuinely happy mood.
It is a time of year when you see amazing acts of kindness from people, with some right here in Burton.
The Derek’s Tree Appeal has now been going for 19 years and this has year has been the ‘best ever’.
Derek Liddle and his team of elves have collected thousands of presents for needy youngsters thanks to the generosity of people from Burton.
The work that the appeal does is magnificent and they deserve a very big pat on the back.
Likewise, MP Andrew Griffiths should be lauded for his soldier box campaign.
His efforts, coupled with that of yet more generosity from people in the town, has made sure that people serving their country and away from this Christmas will get a little something from people back showing them that they are in our thoughts.
Despite times still being tough, it still amazes how many people still dig deep to help others who are in need.
All that is left is to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.
Here is to an even better time in 2014
BEFORE we know it, we will have reached 2014 without catching our breath.
It can only be hoped that in Burton and South Derbyshire we can see more goodwill, plenty of good news and return to prosperity not seen since the recession.