Happy Christmas/New Year one and all

Christmas and New Year is a special time when we reflect on the year past and look forward to what the future holds.

For many of us, we are able to share the joy of the festive season with those nearest and dearest. These are memorable days we will look back on with fondness in years to come. 

Spare a thought for those unable to be with family and friends for one reason or another as this time can also be one of great loneliness for many.

Christmas is a time of receiving and, more importantly, for giving.

Presents under the tree, children’s happy laughter and big hot lunches on what is usually a hot day always make Christmas a special occasion.

Let’s not forget the real meaning of Christmas – that of the birth of Jesus whose life and whose message of forgiveness and hope is as powerful today as it was 2000 years ago.

This Christmas, think of someone less fortunate, someone who is unwell, someone who is working to keep an essential service running, someone who is overseas helping to defend our country, someone locally who faces uncertain weeks and months ahead for whatever reason.

We live in a world of such hurry and worry we sometimes forget to do the simple things people appreciate so much … such as a kind action or word to someone, maybe someone we don’t even know, to make their day a little brighter.

Courtesy costs nothing and offering it often is a wonderful New Year’s resolution … it becomes infectious.
It is a privilege to represent the Riverina in the Federal Parliament and I give thanks for your support and pledge my commitment do my best on your behalf in 2012.

May you and your loved ones have a happy and safe holiday season.

Cristy Houghton