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Citizen editor: Spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Gloucestershire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

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WELL, it is almost upon us. The presents are wrapped, fridge stocked and the Sky+ box set to record all those Christmas specials.

After all that effort, the day always goes so fast. By the time Dame Maggie utters her first acerbic remark in Downton, many of us will be already dozing, dreaming about that bubble and squeak and cold turkey.

It is easy to get carried away in the run-up to Christmas when it all becomes a military exercise in shopping lists and trolleys at dawn in Sainsbury's. Yet, without being too sentimental, the children have got it right.

Yes, they might dream of the latest gadget from Santa but for the pupils at Kingsholm Primary in our Class Act, the festive season means one thing to them – family.

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Time together is the most precious thing we can all give to one another tomorrow.

At dinner tables everywhere, extra places will be set for great aunties, neighbours and friends so they are not alone.

For Connor's mum and dad in today's paper, Christmas will no doubt be about remembering his much-loved siblings Harry and Darcey but also cherishing the time with their beautiful son who has reached so many milestones.

Families all over who can't be together will be logging on to Skype, Facebook or picking up the phone to talk. Across the other side of the world Jamie McDonald is chalking up the miles this Christmas as part of his epic run across Canada. But, back at home, his loved ones will raise a glass to his adventure and get in touch with him hoping to spur him on to the finish line.

People often say Christmas is too commercial and the true meaning of the day is now lost. Well, yes, we all spend too much and eat too much. Not everyone goes to church and many prefer an Only Fools and Horses rerun to the Queen's Speech but, if we believe, the real spirit of Christmas is that of love, family and thinking of others then it is very much alive and well in Gloucestershire. Merry Christmas.

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