This civic duty is a great gift to the nation. It is the ‘‘big society’’ in action. For, while this is a time when families do come together, hospitals, care homes and their like cannot stop.
And so, too, do members of the Armed Forces – and all those other responders tasked with keeping Britain safe. There will be no let-up in their duties while the rest of the country is opening Christmas presents, tucking into a festive feast, watching television and playing those party games which have become such a tradition.
As such, our abiding wish is for a happy – and peaceful – Christmas while extending every good wish to all those who will be separated from their family because of their professional duties or personal circumstances.