AS Christmas Day is only a few days away I would like to extend my very best wishes to each and every resident within the City of Lisburn for a most enjoyable, peaceful and happy Christmas-time.
At this time we give our thanks for all the benefits we have received over the past 12 months. So too do we reflect over the past year and think of good times we have enjoyed but also difficult days that have been endured.
I am acutely aware that Christmas is a very difficult time for some people, particularly those who have been bereaved, or who may be facing a lonely Christmas, or where there may be financial problems, and we should spare a thought for those who are stressed, worried or in pain and hope that the support of family and friends helps during the festive period.
As we plan our festivities let us remember the person on their own or the elderly lady or gentleman that we could offer the hand of friendship. Holiday periods can be very difficult for people, who for whatever reason are by themselves.
And finally let us remember and not forget the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about how much money we spend. It is not about how many presents are under the Christmas Tree. It should be a time when we come together, embrace our religious beliefs and try to relax with loved ones. I know many people find it a hard time to relax, including those who have the responsibility for planning meals and festivities, but I hope families can take time to be together, to watch a Christmas movie, to visit loved ones and to enjoy Christmas.
May I wish a very Happy Christmas to everyone.
The Right Worshipful the Mayor
Alderman William Leathem