Christmas can be unusually busy and hectic, but if we take a few minutes away from the endless shopping, our Christmas preparations should also include a reflection on the true meaning of Christmas as our calendar year ends with a celebration of the birth of Jesus, who dedicated his life in love for each one of us.

If we all try and take a little time over the Christmas period to follow Jesus’ example by doing something extra to help another person we could all make a huge difference to our society.

Say hello to people you meet, people you don’t know.

It doesn’t hurt, and you never know how something that seems so small can touch the lives of others.

Help someone around where you live, or someone you see struggling in the street.

Remember we live in a wonderful community, one that has won awards for bringing people together.

The thousands of visitors who came here this year for our festivals and events have said 'what a wonderful town, Middlewich is, what friendly people live here, why can’t my town be like this'.

In 2013, take time to think about what you can do to help your town, perhaps spend a bit more time at the local shops, perhaps a meal in one of the fantastic pubs and eateries we have here, but most of all support local people, support your neighbours, support each other.

And share a thought and a prayer for those loved ones who cannot be with you this year.

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy New Year, make the most of this special time with your families and your friends.

Clr Simon McGrory