GAZETTE OPINION: This festive tradition needs a gift from all of us

Switch on of Alnwick Christmas Lights 2012
Switch on of Alnwick Christmas Lights 2012

This is a special time of the year – when thoughts start to turn to Christmas and all the magic surrounding it.

Soon most of our towns and villages will be lit up or decorated to some degree as we look forward to the biggest party of the year. Apart from the religious celebrations, the family fun and the general festivities, Christmas is a very important time for businesses, particularly in the retail sector.

The month leading up to the big day and the sales period after can help sustain a shop through the lean winter months. So it is right that we decorate our towns with light, trees and ornaments to attract visitors and residents to shop locally. And it puts smiles on faces.

Communities will be switching on their lights in the coming days and we urge everyone to turn out to support the hard-working volunteers who put up and maintain the displays every year. We have already reported on the annual struggle these teams face to fund the operation, so if you get the opportunity to donate towards the causes, it would help brighten the lives of a lot of local people and see this wonderful tradition continue.