Nicola Sturgeon has urged Scots to stick to current Covid-19 restrictions.
The First Minister is hopeful that perseverance will help bring as much Christmas cheer as possible.
In a statement on Thursday Sturgeon also warned the coronavirus “is still with us” and that a second full-lockdown could still unavoidable.
She said: “For some of you these sacrifices have been compounded by the loss of a loved one, serious illness or worry about your job and paying the bills.
“This has been truly awful for many and no words can make that better and I am sorry to again ask for more.
“Covid is still with us, and it is still dangerous, Europe is now firmly in the grip of a second-wave and countries, including Germany and France, are back in full lockdown.
“Here in Scotland we are seeing more cases and, tragically, more lives being lost, but we also have grounds for cautious hope.
“The restrictions are tough, but please believe me when I say they are still necessary. Of course I wish I could tell you when things will return to normal.
“Given the challenges we face I can’t guarantee that we won’t have to return to the highest levels of restriction across the whole country. But I do know that the best way for us to avoid that, and to secure some degree of Christmas cheer, is to keep abiding by the current rules and guidance.”