I'M WRITING this at home with the fire lit, a mug of tea at hand and an intimidating pile of Christmas and New Year cards written and posted.

I know some of my staffers think sending cards is quaintly old-fashioned. I suppose it is.

But I like sending them and I enjoy putting them up when they arrive.

I've kept all the cards my Mum and Dad sent me over the years, and those from my Grandma too.

She left school aged twelve and was a bit self-conscious about her handwriting.

She'd no need to be.

She wrote in huge cursive loops, and always ended "fondest love from Grandma" with a string of kisses that went on forever.

My card list gets longer every year. One of the joys of being an MP is all the wonderful people I get to meet through working visits to the constituency. I try and keep in touch with as many as I can.

Unforgettable were the team at Rachel House children's hospice outside Kinross. I must admit I was a bit nervous about visiting.

I've been to a few adult hospices over the years, visiting much-loved relatives. I've always found them to be warm sanctuaries providing an invaluable service to adult patients and their families.

But I'd no idea how I'd deal with a hospice for children whose lives were nearing their end. I imagined the atmosphere might be sombre. But I couldn't have been more wrong.

The home is bright and airy, twinkling with Christmas decorations and the walls are covered with photographs of children who have been looked after and loved while they were there.

I can't begin to imagine where the staff find their reserves of emotional strength. And I left in awe of their courage and dedication.

My most memorable visit at Westminster in 2022 was from the teenage members of the Youth Parliament who sat one day in the Commons Chamber and invited me to take part in a debate on mental health.

They spoke of their own experiences of depression, bullying, coming out as gay, and supporting trans friends.

They listened to one another with respect. They applauded every contribution. They seemed so much kinder than many of the parliamentarians who usually sit in the chamber.

I left thinking that the future is safe in their hands.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.