POOLE’S Christmas parcel give-away marks its 80th anniversary this year.

It would be easy to say it celebrates that anniversary – but that would probably be the wrong word.

Surely the people who got the appeal going in 1932 might have hoped that it would not be necessary in 2012.

Just 13 years after the launch of the drive, the welfare state came along, amid high hopes that poverty would be abolished.

The severity of poverty seen in those days might have been eradicated, but in this new age of austerity there are still plenty of people struggling to make ends meet.

The appeal now aims to provide some of those people with something they would not buy themselves – a simple luxury such as a trifle or a Christmas pudding.

It’s a shame such generosity is still needed in this day and age. But the appeal still represents the Christmas spirit at its very best.