Thank you …

As Christmas Day gains momentum across the country the chorus of thank you’s will become louder in homes up and down the land.

As children with eager-eyed enthusiasm discover the capacity of Santa Claus to forgive their naughty actions.

As partners exchange just a token of what they mean to another.

As friends find wrapped in a gift an expression of their gratitude.

As families, close and familiar, occasional and detached, sit down to pull crackers, drink, share food, stories and gossip, hopes and dreams.

Christmas Day is indeed a day of thank you’s and a reminder of what we count as important in our living and loving.

So I want to add to the chorus of thank you’s…

Thank you to the homecare and housing support staff who have been out from early hours till late this evening bringing food and comfort, presence and a smile to someone who might see no one on this day. Thank you to all 60,000 plus of you.

Thank you to the staff who will serve meals, tender to the physical needs and enliven the hopes of the 33,000 people who are in a care home today. Thank you to the thousands of nurses and care home staff who are working today.

Thank you to the one who holds the hand of someone frightened and anxious as they come to the end of their life- your comfort is a gift beyond price.

Thank you to the one who through word, smile and encouragement gives a lifeline of hope when the dark fog of depression and mental distress freezes up a life.

Thank you to the one who stays longer than she should; who sacrifices her own family time to be with a lonely life; who brings the comfort of presence when the pain of aloneness is overwhelming.

Across Scotland let us hear the clamour of thank you’s to the thousands who are working today to care, to nurse, to heal and to give the gift of presence. We owe you a gift beyond purchase or price.

Thank you

Donald Macaskill

@DrDMacaskill