CONGRATULATIONS to all those who have welcomed a new addition to their families over Christmas.

And what a lot there were. A total of 16 babies were born on one of the busiest Christmas Days for staff at the local maternity units.

Each and every baby will have delivered extra cause for celebration to what for many families is already a time in which to be thankful and joyful.

Those 16 new births are a reminder to many of us too to reflect on the hope that still remains for much of mankind, despite the dark days that have accompanied the run up to Christmas.

Many will have wondered what kind of Christmas families can have had whose loved ones are ill, missing or no longer with them.

It is timely then for all of us to reflect on the good things that still remain in many of our lives and to consider how we can extend this season of goodwill to others.

Perhaps the arrival of a new generation can encourage us all to resolve that we will be a little kinder to each other in 2013.