It is traditional for political leaders to issue a festive message. We have probably heard the First Minister talking more this year than any other politician at daily coronavirus briefings televised on the BBC Scotland channel.

Here Nicola Sturgeon expresses her message this Christmas Eve. She said: “I want to wish all of you, a very happy Christmas.

“In doing so I know that for many people – for example our emergency services and armed forces – Christmas is not a holiday at all.

“And for many health and care workers, it will be another working day at the end of an exhausting year.

“I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. The entire country is so grateful for the dedication, expertise, and compassion you have shown us this year.

“I also want to acknowledge that for all of us, this will be a Christmas like no other.

“As has been the case for so much of this year – the way in which we will show our love for each other, is by keeping apart, keeping our distance from each other.

“That will be really hard for all of us but it will be especially hard for children – for whom Christmas is such a special and exciting time.

“And so if any children are watching this, please know firstly that we have made special arrangements to make sure that Santa will still come to visit.

First Minister’s Christmas message

“And please also know that if you are missing people this Christmas, people you would normally see – maybe your granny and grandad, your uncles and your aunts, or other members of your family – they will be sending extra love to you.

“And please know – above all – that future Christmases will not be like this.

“Hopefully this time next year we’ll all be looking forward to a much more normal celebration.

“Christmas can also of course be very tough for people who live on their own, or for the less fortunate in our society.

“That’s true every year but that is even more so this year.

“That’s why, if we can – even as we stay apart, we should also reach out to others.

“Almost all of us will be in touch with our loved ones – by speaking on the phone, sending cards, or catching up online.

“And many people are giving support and help to those who most need it.

“Thank you so much to everyone who is doing that.

“One of the brighter spots of 2020, in an otherwise very dark and difficult year is the way in which people have helped each other through this pandemic with kindness, compassion and love.

“I hope that by holding these values in our hearts this Christmas – even in this most difficult of times – we can all find some much-needed festive cheer.

“So I want to wish all of you, all the very best for Christmas. I wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful Christmas and most of all a much brighter New Year.

“Happy Christmas.”