I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful break.
It is, of course, one of the biggest events in the Christian calendar - a time for hope, kindness, family, and goodwill.
For Christians it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus as a gift from God and someone who embodied the values of love and forgiveness to which we should all aspire.
But what is so extraordinary about this time of year is that it brings together the whole country - religious, non-religious, Christian, non-Christian - to embrace these values and celebrate together.
We always talk about Christmas in terms of the indulgence and the excess, but behind the festivities a great many selfless acts go unnoticed - so I’d like to say thank you.
To the volunteers who spend their holiday helping those who are less fortunate.
To our armed forces, many of whom will be away. And to their families who make as important a sacrifice for the rest of us too.
And to all of those who’ll be working or on call, keeping the country ticking over, while everyone else is off.
They say that Christmas is a time for giving - well, you certainly do that, and the rest of us are immensely grateful for it.
Have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.