Independent Online usually maintains a skeleton staff over the two Christmas public holidays, December 25 and 26.

This year, however, we won't be publishing at all on Christmas Day, and on the night leading into it. We will also not be monitoring comments on stories.

This is because our publishing system is being taken down for maintenance, from Christmas Eve and for the whole of Christmas Day.

Our newsletters will be suspended till December 27.

We will have staff in on December 26 to resume our news, sport and other coverage.

We have a back-up plan in the event of really big breaking news stories - but we hope we won't have to use it.

So, to all our readers: have a wonderful December 25 public holiday, and sterkte to those who are working.