Christmas Day is a day most of us surround ourselves with family.
It is a day to share a meal with those we love - giving and receiving gifts.
It should be a day of joy and laughter.
For many of us there is a deeper meaning to Christmas, but whatever your belief, it is a day to reflect on life and what is important to you. Many of us get so caught up in our busy work lives that we often take for granted the important people in our lives.
The pace of life tends to increase as we all try to finish our work and prepare for Christmas. It is a chance to spend time with your nearest and dearest.
Many families struggle during this season. Money is tighter and this causes tension. Some families are at risk of domestic violence.
What an irony that the very time we are supposed to be full of love and happiness is the time when anger and violence takes hold.
There are many good organisations and people out there who reach out to people in need during this period and give them hope for the future.
A friend of mine recently said to me that Christmas magnifies whatever you are feeling at the time. If you are feeling happy and content, the Christmas period will make you feel even more content and full of the joys of life. Conversely, if you are feeling down and depressed, especially if you don't have family around you, Christmas can make you feel even more isolated and depressed.
We all need to be aware of this and reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves. It is a time to put others first and not to sweat the small stuff.
Before we know it Christmas will be over and we will be into the swing of a new year - and what an exciting year it promises to be.
On behalf of all the staff of Hawke's Bay Today I wish all our readers a Merry Christmas. Enjoy your day tomorrow.