Charity, they say, begins at home.
It doesn’t necessarily mean keeping a money box on the shelf and then once a year emptying it into the coffers of a worthy cause or two.
It might not even mean checking to see whether your next-door neighbour has been blown away in the wind.
Sometimes, quite simply, it’s about welcoming someone into your heart.
It’s crashingly inevitable that when you split up with someone, even after a decade or so of being together, you divide friends like you divide crockery.
Mostly, you get back what you started with.
When the chips are down it is they who will magically know when to send a text or give you a little call to see how you are.
And when it’s time to get your dancing shoes on, it is they who will lead the way to the dance floor, both literally and figuratively speaking.
Some of my friends are going through some of those tough times.
Others are flying high, topping off what for them has been a fabulous year.
Seeing as now the final presents are unwrapped, and the finishing touches have been put to my costume I’ll be wearing on December 31, my thoughts are turning to 2014.
My new year resolution is to try to be a better friend – to be the person who texts when the chips are down and to be the first person to lead the dance.
Recently one of my newest friends got married in Cornwall.
I was surprised to be invited, as plans had begun for the event months previously, and she didn’t really know me that well.
I was touched, readily agreed and so I packed a bag and drove towards the Atlantic for what was to become one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever been to.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people who were more loved by the people who watched them get married.
They and their family should have their pictures next to the dictionary definition of generosity – an inspiration to those lucky enough to be able to call them friends.
As I said, charity begins at home. And people like them will always be welcome in mine.