This is an article by our guest Editor Helen Duval

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and for most of us it generally can’t come around soon enough. There’s so much to enjoy from the family get togethers, to the carols, the laughter and the general anticipation of the whole event. Even the big retailers tv adverts have become part of the build up to Christmas celebrations now.

The whole season is a heart-warming time, with another increasingly obligatory part of business at Christmas being the tie-ins to good causes. Yes, Kevin the carrot is back while John Lewis has brought in the big guns with Elton John reminding us to ‘Step Into Christmas’. No doubt, in buying from all the retailers who make such a concerted effort to market the event, we will all be supporting some incredibly worthy causes. The following that these adverts and the associated charities they support, has gained a huge amount of interest and followers over recent years.

For some, however, it is not quite the cheery time as many of our national charities remind us at this time of year. It’s wonderful to see charity donations being tied into marketing campaigns but perhaps it would be good to reinforce the chosen cause throughout the year with an equal amount of marketing budget rather than one lump sum at the end of it?

It does show that people are expecting us to give something back at this time of year. Of course, for the large Charities this type of continual marketing push will help to sustain their very worthy causes and much needed financial support.

Turning to those who work during Christmas in hospitals and hospices, it gives us a lot to reflect on, particularly for those with family members who may have to remain in care for the duration of the festive time.

With this in mind, Lee, Jason and the team have been hard-working Christmas elves again this year in order to make life a little easier to bear for those with sick relatives.

For children and their families it can be overwhelmingly difficult to cope as they recognise their friends and other families will be celebrating Christmas in more traditional ways together.

So with that in mind this year sees another Children’s charity that will be receiving a personal visit from the NFA Santa Support team, with some very generous donations made by business leaders in the glass and glazing sector.

Everyone would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have contributed to this year’s Christ-mas cause.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!