The darkness of Scotland's winter always lends itself to melancholy, even in the best of times. And these, as you well know, are not those times.
We continue to live lives dulled by the pandemic as it cuts out many of the things that bring us light, metaphorical and literal: gathering for raucous parties, watching football and rugby in the company of thousands of others, maybe even fleeing abroad for a little winter sun.
Our escape routes from the tragedy of the pandemic appear blocked – but there is still light among us this Christmas.
After all, most Scotsman readers will have now had their third dose of a vaccine that seemed a distant promise 12 months ago. The luckiest of us will be able to see our families and closest friends tomorrow, unlike last year. We have hope that the virus's potency may be on the wane, and new treatments may make it more survivable.
Moreover, we can also bring light to others. After a difficult year, we should remember those in our health and emergency services who are working tomorrow, or those too isolated to join others in celebration. A call to those forced to spend it alone because of the virus would, we are sure, also be appreciated.
So, in that spirit, everyone at The Scotsman would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas. May you and yours find light tomorrow, wherever you are.