Lisburn City Mayor, Councillor Margaret Tolerton, has wished each and every one of Lisburn residents a very Happy Christmas.
Mrs Tolerton said: “As the season of goodwill is upon us, my message to mums and dads, grannies and granddads, aunts and uncles and to the younger members of our community is to simply try and take some time out of the busy Christmas schedule in order to take stock of our blessings, to relax and to enjoy some uninterrupted time with family.
“We are all so very busy these days and life moves at a hectic pace. Christmas shopping, finishing up work for the holidays, getting the house ready for Christmas, cooking and organising; life is busy enough much of the time and at this time of the year we need to slow down and take stock of Christmas-time and how special it is.
“I know from experience that this is a very busy time for ladies of the household and I would say to family members; please help lift the load from mothers who are up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning in order to get Christmas lunch underway; and who are often the people who have carried out the majority of Christmas Tree decorating, present buying, wrapping and distributing gifts and cleaning the house for guests. Appreciate your mother because you will only ever have one mother.
“Regardless of our religious beliefs it is a special time of the year, and a time that we should be kind to one another.
“It is important to be together, because with all of us having such busy lives very often it is the case that families are not able to do simple things like sit together, watch a movie, or go for a walk and just relax.
“This is of course a time of the year that many people in society find a lonely time. It’s hard when a family member is no longer with a family, because there is a consciousness that an empty seat is at the table.
“Please remember those who find Christmas a sad time. If you know someone who is alone please call and see them or involve that person in your plans over Christmas. A kind word or gesture can make such a difference, and not everyone is lucky enough to have family support.
“My Christmas engagements have been non-stop and I have attended carol services, church services, met people from across the community at Christmas events and been humbled to meet residents in our nursing homes in the City. I extend my best wishes to people who are in hospital for Christmas; and say to the medical teams on duty, which are not able to be at home with family, a very big thank you.
“I hope to visit Lagan Valley Hospital on Christmas Day. I have been welcomed across the City and would like to thank all the groups and organisations for involving me in their festive activities.
“I intend to take my own advice and be with family on Christmas Day. I am lucky enough to have a lovely little granddaughter and if you are fortunate enough to have a young child in your family, you will know that it’s when Christmas is at its absolute best. So treasure this time.
“A very Happy Christmas to all.”