Christmas will be very different for Salvation Army captains Ernie Huby, 55, and his wife June, 53. Last week Ernie slipped and fell on Army business and broke his leg. His leg is in plaster from toe to thigh. He says: "Instead of running round providing the entertainment on Christmas Day, I'll be more of an observer. Very different!"
WE both have very happy memories of childhood Christmases.
Our parents worked hard to make Christmas a special time, even though money was short.
The magic of Christmas didn't have much to do with the amount of money that was spent, but the things we did and the way we did them.
There was all the excitement in the build-up to Christmas - school parties, nativity plays, making the decorations - even things like seeing the first frost pattern on the bedroom window pane were indications that Christmas was coming.
There was the childhood anxiety of wondering whether we had been good enough for Father Christmas to bring us anything.
Then there was the wonder of the night itself - Christmas Eve - putting the pillow cases at the end of the bed, hardly being able to sleep for excitement, but afraid that if we were still awake, Father Christmas wouldn't come.
Then the joy of Christmas morning - waking up and rushing to see what was in the bulging pillow cases, followed by the joyful anticipation as each present was opened.
Every item, from the humble pencil case, paint box and colouring book, to the main "big" present, brought great delight.
Although Christmas was always special, we never realised at the time that there was an important element missing.
We knew that we were celebrating Jesus' birthday - that's why we had the Nativity plays - but somehow that didn't have much to do with us - after all, Jesus had died many years before.
By the time we met each other, we had both become Christians, and Christmas had become full of meaning for us.
It wasn't all about the presents and the food, the parties and the family get-togethers, even though these things were still an important part of our celebrations.
But we were celebrating one of the most significant events in history, and it's still good news to every person alive today.
The angel announced to the shepherds out in the fields near Bethlehem, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord".
For all people in all nations and in all generations, the birth of Jesus Christ is "good news of great joy".
When we came to know Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, celebrating his birth took on a whole new meaning. He became the focus of our celebrations. Worship became an important element in Christmas celebrations, as it did in the rest of our lives.
When we became parents, we wanted Christmas to be special for our children too.
We wanted them to experience the awe and wonder that had meant so much to us as children, but were keen too that they should not miss out on the real reason for Christmas.
We have many happy memories of family Christmases when the children were young.
Since becoming Salvation Army officers in 1991, Christmas has been very different for us.
Every Christmas Day for the past 15 years, we have been responsible for providing for people who would otherwise be on their own, cooking Christmas dinner for up to 80 people, providing entertainment in the afternoon, then a carol service with a Christmas message, and a full tea, before everyone is transported home.
When our children were all at home, they all got involved as well. Our youngest daughter is still helping this Christmas, even though she got married in June.
It is hard work, but very rewarding, and to hear people's comments as they are leaving makes it all worthwhile.
Every year, we have wonderful volunteers who come to help, from all walks of life - some come back year after year, some just come once, but they all work together as a team and we never cease to be amazed at how everything works out!
We love Christmas, and most of all, want to share the good news that God loved the world so much that he sent Jesus to be our Saviour - the best Christmas present ever!
* This year the Salvation Army in Huddersfield will be providing a meal on Christmas Day at Gledholt Methodist Church for 65 people and calling on the help of 30 volunteers.