Celebrity chef Michael Caines writes for this title.

Exmouth Journal: Michael Caines MBE. Picture: Tony GussinMichael Caines MBE. Picture: Tony Gussin (Image: Archant)

So Devon has remained in tier two which means I get to work on Christmas Day and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I’ll be with my team and our guests at Lympstone Manor for what will be a magical time.

After the year we have all had, we deserve a period when we can over-indulge and give ourselves a break.

Although it means I can’t be with my family, I enjoy the buzz of working on Christmas Day.

I also think it’s important that I muck in with the rest of the team, who will also be making their own personal sacrifices.

They are my other family and it will mean a lot to me to be around them on an occasion that will feel even more special this year.

In the hospitality industry we are used to creating our own Christmas moments.

Despite the hardships we’ve experienced, I think we should all take a step back and be thankful for what we have.

The pandemic has made us realise just how many simple pleasures we take for granted.

Please spare a thought for those who have come off worse during the crisis, either through losing loved ones or as a result of financial hardship.

I would urge you to do whatever you can to support local charities or food banks this festive period.

It’s also important for us to remember that loneliness will be a major issue this year due to the restriction of movement for large groups of people.

The good news is, it’s never been easier to connect so make sure you put that new Christmas tablet or smart phone to good use.

For me, Christmas Day will be Boxing Day this year and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with my children.

We tend to forget just how tough it’s been for young people adjusting to a new way of schooling and not being able to do the things they enjoy.

However, they’ve coped magnificently and I couldn’t be more proud of them.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, I hope you are able to reward yourself for battling through what has been a torrid time.

Stay safe, keep well, until next time.