SOME messages and themes we emphasise at Christmas include community, empathy and co-operation.
This year has been one of the most politically divisive in recent times and it is important to pause this festive season and reflect on the values we share, rather than the disagreements we hold.
This year people around the country respectfully marked the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. It was a humbling occasion that reminded us of the true nature of sacrifice.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Harry and Meghan – married in Windsor and announced their first royal baby.
England defied expectations and captured imaginations across the country with an unexpected run to the World Cup semi-finals, finally falling valiantly to Croatia.
It was a year that allowed us to raise our eyes from the manic developments in Westminster and appreciate the contributions of servicemen and women, public service figures and sportspeople elsewhere across the UK and around the world.
I would like to emphasise this message this Christmas.
We live in a country brimming with talent, endeavour and selflessness and amidst the uncertainty of the political landscape we must not lose sight of that.
We are home to some of the world’s greatest minds, as the sad passing of Prof Stephen Hawking earlier this year reminded us.
We remain one of the most visited and admired countries on the planet, recently overtaking France to be renamed the No 1 Soft Power country in the world. We have a culture and heritage that is the envy of the world and we talk with genuine pride about our fantastic military and treasured public services.
I wish them all well this Christmas, whether a soldier posted abroad or a doctor working through the night on Christmas Day – and indeed the private sector employees working in hospitality or transport who enable us to spend such enjoyable times with our families.
They are all in our thoughts this Christmas. They make the UK a country we are all still so very proud to be a part of.
Merry Christmas and best wishes to all for the new year.
Mid Worcestershire MP