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Beware! This blog has absolutely nothing to do with fused glass.

I’m struggling to believe we are in December with Christmas just around the corner and 2016 poised to first foot it through my front door, with a lump of coal in it’s hand. Maybe it’s because the weather is still so mild and the beautiful fuchsia in my courtyard garden is still in full bloom that I can be found continually muttering “Where has 2015 gone?” and find myself reflecting on the past twelve months.

This year, more than any other, seems to have shown us the best and worst of humanity. The appalling acts of terrorism across the world have been met with a global response of unity and support towards those affected. The hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing their homelands looking for safety and peace have been (largely) welcomed by strangers, who have had little difficulty in imagining how desperate these people must have been to embark on dangerous journeys, leave all that is familiar and abandon their lives in favour of the totally unknown.

It seems this year we have been bombarded with bigotry and then sustained with tolerance. Whilst certain sections of the media would have us believe Christians and Muslims are at best mistrustful of each other and at worst at open war, by and large the opposite seems to be the truth. This year has seen pictures emerge of Christians forming a protective ring around Muslims as they kneel and pray and Muslims forming a human chain to ensure Christians a safe passage to their church. As usual people of different faiths, along with those of no faith at all, will drag a tree into their living room, throw a string of lights on it, along with glitter strewn bells, baubles  and angels to celebrate the spirit of the season. I saw a Muslim man on TV the other day smiling and saying how much his family enjoyed Christmas. Nearby was a vicar, who appeared to be glowing with pleasure and pride at the sharing of one of the most important festivals in his faith’s calendar.

In a little under three weeks many of us will be making resolutions that we hope will change our lives for the better. Many of us will resolve to become thinner, drink less, exercise more but wouldn’t it be marvellous if on New Year’s Eve we all adhere to JM Barrie’s (he who gave us Peter Pan) wish and resolve to “make a new rule of life from tonight: always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” Maybe then 2016 will be remembered as a year that saw only the best of humanity.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.