This time of year will bring a variety of feelings and emotions to people across the Borders.
The New Year is for many a period to look back over the 12 months that have gone and to look ahead to the year that lies ahead.
For some the year that is about to depart will hold fond memories – a steady job, happy family, good friends. There will have been smiles, laughter and, of course, some tears.
For others there has been more tears than laughter and smiles. Tragedy has struck at the heart of many Borderers this year. They will remember those who were with them when 2010 dawned, but who will not be there to see the birth of the incoming year.
For some the year that is about to end will have been a time of uncertainty. A time of financial worries; a fear of redundancy; a health scare.
For most it will have been a year that began with hand-on-heart resolutions – resolutions that lasted only a matter of weeks before being discarded.
It was indeed a year in which the doom and gloom merchants had many a hay day. But even they must have raised a cheer with the rest of us when, one-by-one, the Chilean miners were slowly brought to the surface from what could have been their underground tomb. To them every New Year will be seen as a truly unexpected bonus and one to be cherished and embraced.
Along with the rest of the country – and farther afield – the community of the Borders is bracing itself for a difficult and uncharted New Year. Of that there is no doubt.
But the Borders and its people – those born here and those who have elected to make it their home – have been there before.
And with the rugged, dogged determination, kindly hearts and all-for one attitude that prevails throughout our rolling hills we will weather the storm that lies ahead. And if the head goes down, just beam up the memory of those smiling Chilean miners.