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EMOTIONS often run high at Christmas, as time off from the norm inevitably leads to ponderous moments for all of us. And this week’s brace of front page Christmas crackers is typical of the highs and lows of life.

On the one hand is 99-year-old Maggie Hefford whose Christmas and birthday looked as though they might be spent staring at the same four walls. That is until the hero soldiers from Grantham’s Prince William of Gloucester Barracks stepped in to carry the stricken pensioner to her own birthday bash.

Acts of kindness such as this really do bring a warm glow to the spirit at Christmas time.

Compare that heart-warming tale of kindness with the plight of six-year-old Chloe Russell: she has received the gift of a lifetime from Santa Claus this year, making all her wishes and dreams come true.

The Long Bennington Primary School girl made the trip to Lapland thanks to the When You Wish Upon a Star charity - one which helps critically ill children.

Her parents told the Journal how they will never forget the look on their little girl’s face, as she was transported into her fairytale adventure world where nothing but happiness, smiles and tears of joy can flow. So happy Christmas to her, to Maggie and to all.