Published: 09:00, 25 December 2014
Whether you're already opening presents or have just woken up when you read this, a very Merry Christmas from the Kent Messenger!
To celebrate the festive season we've collected a bunch of Christmas themed messages for our readers to enjoy.
From MPs and police officers to comedians and reality TV stars, they are all feeling Christmassy and are ready to spread cheer across the county.
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and the Weald:
"A hundred years ago guns fell silent on the Western Front during the Christmas Truce of 1914. Soldiers from both sides exchanged seasonal greetings, songs and gifts, while some participated in games of football on “no man’s land”.
"Such gestures of peace and humanity amidst the chaos and carnage of the battlefield serve to highlight the brutality of war and the sacrifice made by so many.
"At a special service just the other week, Maidstone United FC came together with local schools at All Saints Church in Maidstone to remember the remarkable truce. I was honoured to attend as this town’s MP, as Minister for Sport and as the Minister responsible for First World War Centenary Commemorations.
"As we reflect on lesson learnt from the Great War, so too must we pray for enlightenment, courage and peace amidst the many communities suffering conflict today. We are so fortunate in this country to live in peace and I am ever grateful to the men and women who made, and continue to make this possible. Happy Christmas to you all."
Mife FitzGerald, trustee, Maidstone Homeless Care:
"After visiting schools to collect a huge quantity of items for the homeless I have been struck by how proud we should all be of our young people and I am confident that our future is safe in their hands.
"We need to give a huge thank you for the generosity of all the people in Maidstone and Malling for the donations they have made to our appeal with the Kent Messenger.
I do believe we are making a difference despite the challenging times we are facing and helping to improve quality of life for people who are finding it hardest.
"Merry Christmas to all."
Liam Woodman, comedian and comedy writer from Maidstone:
"Present, presents, presents. For a 39-year-old man I get way too excited about Christmas. For me it’s all about the presents and what I’m going to get. But as you get older, each year the presents get more and more underwhelming. My own mum dropped mine off with the strict instructions not to open it until Christmas morning as it was bad luck. Bad luck? What a nasty present to get your own son.
"December 25th is drawing near I’m reminded of how far I’d go to get a present. I visited Father Christmas as a small boy but before I could sit on his knee an Elven helper rumbled my subterfuge and outed me as a fully grown man. 2013 was a difficult year. I was evicted from the grotto faster than the England football team from this year’s World Cup.
"But as I approach the big four-O I’ve realise I need to change my philosophy. After all I’m a dad of three now and that’s a huge responsibility. I can’t teach Arthur, Ned and Willow that Christmas is all about ‘what am I going to get?’ that would be missing the true meaning and deep down I know I’ve inherited my Grandad’s Christmas Spirit – disappointing since I was hoping for his E-Type Jaguar.
"This Christmas morning as our living room descends into our very own reenactment of the Black Friday carnage I’ll be shouting over the melee, ‘Christmas is not all about ‘what am I going to get?’ it’s all about ‘what are you going to get.’ Because they are the children now, and Christmas is all about the PRESENTS yeah?..Or is it?"
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford:
"This year is the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Day truce when British and German troops ceased hostilities and played a game of football in no man’s land. It was the first and only time this happened and although it may have been glorified over the course of the century what is clear is that the story has lived on to signify the spirit of Christmas.
"Christmas is supposed to be the season of peace, joy, gifts, and precious time with our families. However it is also a time to think of those less fortunate than ourselves.
"Within our own communities there will be those who are alone and isolated and Christmas is not so fun for them. Yet there will also be many who will work or volunteer their time over the festive season to help those in need, taking meals to the elderly on Christmas Day, manning crisis hotlines, or simply just popping next door to check their neighbour is OK. The football match in 1914 was more than just a game.
"It was a recognition that each and every one of those young men were away from their families, probably for the first time, and scared. They put their differences aside for a few hours for just one day and with jumpers for goalposts captured the spirit of Christmas with one simple kick of a ball. I wish you all a peaceful Christmas."
Felipe Alviar- Baquero, founder of Tiny Town in Larkfield and a candidate in this year’s The Apprentice:
"To all in Kent, I wish you a wonderful Christmas full of love, family memories and fun.
Enjoy the most beautiful and magical time of the year and I hope all your dreams become true."
Hugh Roberston, Mp for Faversham and Mid Kent:
"A year ago, as the Minister for the Middle East, I spent the last two weeks before Christmas in Lebanon and Egypt respectively. In Lebanon, I visited the refugee camps full of young children escaping the war in Syria and already experiencing the first snowfalls of the year high in the wintery Bequaa valley.
"In Egypt, I visited the Coptic Christian community who had just emerged from a period of persecution under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. A year on, last night, I joined the parishioners of Bearsted for their splendid and happy annual family service of lessons and carols. The contrast could not have been greater. As we all sit down to enjoy our festive break, spare a thought, and a prayer, for all those around the world who will be suffering this Christmas."
Chief Constable of Kent Police, Alan Pughsley:
"My officers and staff are dedicated to doing their very best for the community, often in very challenging situations, but they could not do so without the support of the people we serve.
"The men and women of Kent Police show courage, compassion and integrity on a daily basis and are fully committed to providing a first class service. We have had another successful year, highlighted by the HMIC which recognised Kent as one of the best performing forces in the country when it comes to crime recording.
"This year has seen the launch of our new policing model and the dedicated Rural Task Force. Putting victims at the heart of what we do is fundamental and is exactly the reason why we made these changes.
"The festive period is a busy time of the year and we will be out in force to target those who don’t share the Christmas spirit. Our message is simple, if you want to enjoy Christmas, do not commit a crime.
"Our officers and staff, special constables will be working over the holidays to keep Kent as one of the safest parts of the country. On behalf of everyone at Kent Police, let me wish you and those closest to you a very merry and safe Christmas and a happy New Year."
Martin Cozens, a plumber enjoying an afternoon drink at the Style and Winch in Union Street, Maidstone:
"This year I’ve reached my 50th year, so I haven’t done too badly out of it! I hope that everybody in all the pubs locally and in Maidstone has a very good Christmas and a prosperous New Year. And that they continue to support their local businesses into 2015."
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.