Christmas can be flat out for most of us as we rush to meet deadlines and tie up loose ends to start the New Year with a clean slate.

2017 has been a year of great challenges for many. Despite the triumphs and tragedies we face, the birth of Jesus Christ over two thousand years ago is an inspiration to me and a reminder that we are able to find peace and hope in times of hardship.

It makes me think of my favourite story from World War 1.

In 1914 during the bitter fighting on the western front, the rifles stopped firing and, singing Christmas carols, enemies came together in a spirit of goodwill.

This became forever known as the Christmas Truce.

It was not an official truce but the decision of a few soldiers to create a moment of peace in the middle of war.

Christmas is like that. It is an opportunity to reflect and realign with what is most important in life, to take a moment of peace in the war for our time and our attention, reconnect with family and friends, repair relationships, go fishing or camping and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.

I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.

The office will be closing from 12pm Fri 22nd December and reopen Monday January 15th 2018.