I am looking forward to a break at Christmas and the New Year. It’s a time when most people try to push their troubles to the side. This has been a tough year for everyone. Times are hard yet we still see decency and humanity shining through all over the country. Across Renfrewshire, we see the fantastic work being done throughout the year by charities like St Vincent’s and ACCORD hospices. We know that there are countless local groups making a real difference to the quality of life of people across Renfrewshire. Groups like the Greensyde Carers who fundraise to top up hard pressed Council budgets and the team at Corseford School who are raising funds for expensive but vital equipment for their pupils. And it’s not just local groups who are helped by the generous hearted people of Renfrewshire. Rainbow Turtle in Paisley promotes the value of Fair Trade for producers in poor and underdeveloped countries. We probably have thousands of people in our community who one way or another, selflessly do that bit extra for those who need their help. So while Christmas is a time for giving and receiving, we should recognise that this goes on all year round in Renfrewshire. While many people don’t associate with the religious significance of Christmas, it’s fair to say that just about everyone signs up to the Christmas spirit. So if you can, switch off at Christmas and enjoy the festivities. Have a Happy Christmas and a Good New Year.