Christmas is said to be the time of "good will to all men". The word "men", of course, means absolutely everyone and not just men. It is a time of the giving of gifts one to another, and for many, this can be quite a challenge. However, there are many gifts we can all give to each other which cost nothing apart from our time and our energy - and not just at Christmas, but all the time. The gifts of love and understanding are beyond price as also the gifts of tolerance and generosity. All these gifts are necessary if we are to go forward as a caring and progressive society. These are not passive gifts, but call for each of us to be active. "I am proud to be Mayor of a town where so many people are giving these gifts all the time. I have met so many people who are constantly giving their time, their energies and their knowledge for the benefit of others. Over the past few months I have met volunteers at the Grub Hub, the Coneygear Seniors, the volunteer Centre and charity shop, the Town Library, the St John's Ambulance Cadets, the Sea Cadets and only last week the Air Training Corps. I have also been to an awards evening where young and old alike received awards for amazing acts of care and self giving. I could go on, as there are so many more in every walk of life. The net effect of all these people is that the lives of our people as a whole are enriched and transformed. While there is so much negativity in the media and the world around us, our focus should be upon positivity and what each of us can do for our town, our community, and others less fortunate than ourselves. "I wish you all a very happy Christmas.