VOICE OF WOKINGHAM: So here it is, we wish you a Merry Christmas

After a busy festive period, it's time to reflect on the spirit of Christmas

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Father Christmas
Father Christmas arrives at the Wokingham Winter Carnival parade

THE festive rush is almost over for another year.

Wokingham borough’s Christmas season is always a busy time.

It starts in mid-November with the light switch-ons, it continues through to Christmas Eve with the Living Advent Calendar’s climax, midnight masses and the wonder of the crib services.

In between, we’ve had concerts, carols and parties. There has been street fayres, carnivals, pantomimes and plays.

Grottos have been lovingly created, wishlists whispered in the big man’s ears. Elves have been creating mischief in homes and in the streets.

The greatest story ever told has been retold in school halls and fields, with clip-clopping donkeys made of cardboard or, in some cases, the real things.

Goodness knows how many tubs of chocolates have been sold, how many crackers pulled and presents given.

It’s all been a joy.

Despite the grim general election and its aftermath, despite the harsh words spoken and the difficult moments, the spirit of Christmas has prevailed – the message of hope that comes from a stable in Bethlehem is never snuffed out.

Regardless of whether your Christmas is a religious one or not, there is something about that baby’s birth that does resonate today.

Giving spirit

Our support for the annual Giving Tree appeal means we have been able to go behind the scenes and see just how generous you have been – it is mind-blowing just how much you want to give.

This is replicated across the borough.

Food banks will have received bumper donations. Businesses have collected their own toys, charities will have had extra tenners stuck into their collection tins.

The spirit of Christmas is a giving one.

Next week, as Christmas Day beckons, there will be volunteers and charities giving up precious family time to ensure that others won’t be on their own.

The work of The Link and Christ Church in Woodley – among others – is a real life-saver at this time of year.

And for the Salvation Army and Pilgrim Hearts, for Wokingham In Need, for the Rotary Clubs, the Round Tables, the Lions, all doing their bit to help the less fortunate. For the Wokingham Crisis House – this is business as normal.

In the new year, the giving spirit continues as a night shelter opens to help the borough’s homeless in these cold, dark months.

Yes, the spirit of Christmas is a giving one, may that spirit continue throughout 2020.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Our print edition is back on January 2

We take our customary week off this week. The office will be closed, but the website will continue to be updated with the latest news.

See you in 2020!

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