Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, thinking about those less fortunate and general all round community harmony.
However the Bucks Herald front page story this week has exposed a most unfortunate situation where fund raising has now become a dangerous past time - in Aylesbury at least.
The Rotary Club of Aylesbury has traditionally raised money through its ‘Santa sleigh’ at this time of year for more than 20 years. Tens of thousands of pounds have gone to good causes bringing help and that little bit of Christmas cheer to many.
In fact the rotary floats are an established big fund raiser for clubs all over the country and I should know having spent several years, come rain or snow, collecting from the back of a Santa float
For most this tradition is looked forward to enormously but even then, a dozen or so years ago there were restrictions on the rotary activity with a time slot allotted and an understanding much past 7.30pm would upset parents who’s young children were tucked up in bed asleep. This gave the collectors around two hours to get around the agreed route for that night.
I can assure you plans for the Santa route were always prepared well in advance and rotarians secured to man the lorry (I mean sleigh), every night for nearly two weeks.
It seems though that the Rotary Club of Aylesbury has become a victim of its own success and is now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
This week the club came under fire from a mum upset her little five-year-old girl had been left in tears along with other children after Santa failed to visit their road and packed up and went home as they approached.
Answering the criticism senior vice president Sarah Fraser revealed how rotary members have this year come under fire from rock throwing teens and verbal abuse from parents, either angry Santa had not visited them or, angry because he had, but too late a night.
Now the charitable group is thinking of throwing in the towel wondering whether it is all worth it.
That is a worry for all of us here in Aylesbury and on the town’s behalf I ask you to think carefully.
The rotary float is a tradition worth protecting. I know because I have seen it bring that little bit of Christmas magic, to the streets and a memory our children will treasure for ever.
Santa rules ok.