Many of us are looking forward to some time off work over Christmas and New Year, but let’s remember those who will have to work through the holiday period.
There are local servicemen and women risking their lives on active service in Afghanistan.
But let’s not also forget the shop workers, restaurant staff and petrol station attendants who will be working unsocial hours often on the minimum wage.
We couldn’t enjoy the Christmas we take for granted without their contribution.
This will be my first Christmas as a mam.
I am sure you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to it, even though Orla is too young to appreciate it.
I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received in the last year when fighting Sunderland’s corner at Westminster. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.