Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer have released their Christmas messages full of hope for a better celebration next year, and a brighter future.
The Prime Minister used the opportunity to encourage people to get their vaccines as it will be the best gift they could give their loved ones this year.
In more than 400 words, Mr Johnson paid tribute to those who had lost loved ones this year, people self isolating and NHS staff.
The Labour leader used half the amount of words to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and highlight the Christian values of kindness that Brits have shown over the last year.
Sir Keir acknowledged the tough year Brits have faced in his message.
He said: “But I believe that if we stick together, support each other and work together, we can find a path through.”
Sir Keir went on to thank the NHS for saving countless lives and the armed forces working at home and abroad.
Mr Johnson said: “Though the time for buying presents is theoretically running out, there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country, and that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster.”
His message urging Brits to get the jab came as UK experienced yet another record-breaking number of daily reported Covid cases, with 119,789 reported as of 9am on Thursday.
This was the second day in the whole of the pandemic that daily lab-confirmed case rates were above 100,000, after Wednesday.
Earlier this week the Prime Minister confirmed no further Covid-19 restrictions will be put in place before Christmas.
However, the Government has said situation is finely balanced and remains difficult across the country, with the Omicron variant continuing to surge and cases at an all-time high.
The Government will continue to monitor the data closely and will not hesitate to act after Christmas if necessary.
Boris Johnson’s Christmas Message
After two years of this pandemic, I can’t say that we are through it.
How can I? When Omicron is surging, when we all know, we must together try to stop the spread of this new variant,
We must test ourselves and take extra care when meeting elderly or vulnerable relatives. We know that things remain difficult.
But for millions of families up and down the country, I hope and believe that this Christmas is, and will be, significantly better than the last, in this vital respect.
That we can celebrate together with those we love and raise our glasses to those who can’t be with us.
And if this year you need a bigger turkey and there are more sprouts to peel and more washing up to do, then that is all to the good, because these rituals matter so deeply.
And I hope that people will enjoy this Christmas this year all the more keenly because of what we had to miss last year.
And if the pile of scrumpled wrapping paper is bigger this year it is precisely because across the country, in the run up to Christmas, we have been giving each other an invisible and invaluable present.
We have been getting that vaccination that protects us and stops us infecting others.
And I hope I can be forgiven for taking pride in the immense spirit of neighbourliness that the people of this country have shown.
Getting jabbed not just for themselves, for ourselves, but for friends and family and everyone we meet.
And that, after all, is the teaching of Jesus Christ, whose birth is at the heart of this enormous festival – that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
And so let’s think of all those who are being good neighbours and thinking of others.
All those in the NHS working over Christmas, our care workers, everyone involved in the incredible vaccination campaign.
Those looking after people who have lost loved ones this year, and who would otherwise be on their own.
The many thousands of people who are selflessly self-isolating to keep others safe from Covid.
And though the time for buying presents is theoretically running out, there is still a wonderful thing you can give your family and the whole country…
…and that is to get that jab, whether it is your first or second, or your booster.
so that next year’s festivities are even better than this year’s.
And in the meantime, I thank you, and wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Keir Starmer’s Christmas Message
I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Christmas is a time for Christians across Britain and across the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
It’s a time to come together, to spend time with friends, with family and with loved ones.
Christmas is also a time of reflection.
This year, like last year, has been incredibly difficult for our country.
Too many families have experienced unimaginable loss.
For too many, there will be one less chair at the table for the Christmas meal.
But, in the darkest of times, Christian values of kindness, of compassion and hope have shone through.
Communities have come together to help one another.
Key workers have saved countless lives.
Armed service men and women both here and abroad have, as ever, played a huge part in protecting us all.
Our brilliant NHS, which has done so much good since Labour founded it almost 75 years ago now, has vaccinated the country.
You keep our country safe.
On behalf of all of us, I want to say a heartfelt thank you.
This year has been tough.
But I believe that if we stick together, support each other and work together, we can find a path through.
I know a better future is possible.
So from my family to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.