The past 21 months have, without a doubt, been the most challenging this country have faced since the Second World War.
Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives and sadly Christmas 2020 was a somewhat dismal one, with all large gatherings cancelled, and shops, pubs and restaurants in Wales forced to close in the final run-up before the big day.
It is little wonder then that we have all been focused on making Christmas 2021 one to remember for all the right reasons.
If last Christmas taught us anything, it’s that being with loved ones is worth more than any present, and I urge you all to keep this in mind when you are stressing, trying to find the perfect gift.
With a successful vaccination programme in place we have come a long way since December 2020, but sadly, as I write this, Covid is again dominating the headlines, with the Omicron variant causing increasing concern as cases rise throughout the UK.
Whilst it is encouraging the variant is yet to result in many deaths, and with some indications that it is a milder form of the virus, it is nevertheless more transmissible. It is clear that booster jabs are a vital defence against the variant. I therefore cannot emphasise enough how important it is that all those eligible ensure they receive their booster jab as soon as possible.
Like you all, I am very much hoping that there will be no need for further restrictions over the festive period and that we can enjoy a “normal” Christmas with our loved ones.
For our NHS and emergency workers, a “normal” Christmas can be difficult even at the best of times, with many having to work over the festive period. As we sit down for our Christmas lunch, let’s give thanks to them, all those involved in the vaccination rollout, and other keyworkers who do not get to spend Christmas at home. Let us also remember all those less fortunate than ourselves, and keep our minds very much focused on brighter times ahead.
Best wishes to you all. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.