NICOLA Sturgeon last night urged the Scots to ‘help others’ as they enjoy their first Christmas since 2019 without Covid restrictions.
Messages from the First Minister and other party leaders also praised the emergency services, who are facing severe pressure due to the NHS crisis.
The head of the SNP wished everyone a “best” Christmas after the turbulent periods caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “Especially after the last two Christmases, I know that most of us will be looking forward to this holiday season.
“The opportunity to get together with family, friends and loved ones is truly something to cherish.”
Ms Sturgeon noted that many families are going through hard times due to the cost of living crisis.
She said: “It is important to think about how we can help others.
“Maybe donate to charity if we can, or help out in our communities, or visit a neighbor or friend who might be alone and wants to keep company.
“I also want to thank all those for whom Christmas is not a holiday at all.
“The men and women in our armed forces, those who look after us in the NHS, look after us in the police and fire departments – all those who work in our essential community and volunteer services.
“I am deeply grateful for all your work during the year. But I’m especially grateful for it now, knowing how difficult times are right now.”
Yesterday RISHI Sunak treated the homeless to fried food when he visited the shelter.
The prime minister has prepared breckeys for those in need as he announced that ministers will invest £654m over the next two years to prevent homelessness.
Before heading to Yorkshire to spend Christmas with his family, the prime minister made several surprise phone calls to thank public sector workers on duty over the holiday.
He spoke to diplomats, military personnel and caregivers to thank them for continuing the holiday season and working to keep us safe.
In his Christmas message, he said: “Whether you are working in Mogadishu or Milton Keynes this Christmas, I want you to know that I am personally grateful for your sacrifice.
“And closer to home, those who checked on friends and neighbors, volunteers, government employees, and essential service personnel working over Christmas—I am truly honored by your dedication and know that your dedication this holiday season will bring joy across the country. ”
TORY High Representative Douglas Ross said: “For me, after two years of lockdown, I know I am more grateful than ever for the opportunity to celebrate this holiday season with my entire family.”
He added: “However, while this Christmas may be a return to our usual holiday traditions, there will be one key difference for many of us.
“It is with great sadness that we said goodbye to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in September.”
Mr Ross wished all the best to the king and family of the late monarch, and to all the people of Scotland who have lost loved ones this year.
Sir Keir Starmer
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer used his Christmas message to reflect on the struggles of the Ukrainian people.
He said: “I hope this Christmas will be a joyful and relaxing time for you, however you spend it.
“I look forward to spending time with my family away from the workday.
“But at the same time, I will hold in my heart all those who work to ensure our safety.
“Those who care about the less fortunate, and our friends in Ukraine, have faced the horror of Putin’s horrific attacks.
“Their fight for freedom inspires us all.”
Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar also paid tribute to the volunteers who help the vulnerable at Christmas and greeted emergency workers.
But he said: “Unfortunately, too many children will wake up this Christmas with next to nothing. And many people will spend Christmas alone with no one to celebrate it with.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said he wanted to “thank all key workers, many of whom will be working over Christmas”.
He included those “in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, schools, transportation, and supermarkets.”
And he added: “I want you to know that my party appreciates your work and will fight for your corner.”
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