This time of year is always one to reflect on the 12 months gone by and to think of those less fortunate than ourselves.
My thoughts are with those family and friends who have lost loved ones in many horrific terrorist incidents this year across the UK who will be coming to terms with spending a first Christmas without them.
2017 has been another whirlwind in the year of politics.
A general election was not something I was expecting this time last year, but I was humbled by the level of support I received at the ballot box to re-elect me as MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.
I am, of course, committed to working for everyone across Tweeddale and the Borders, whether you voted for me or not.
The elections I was expecting this year were council elections, and I’d like to pay tribute to councillors Keith Cockburn and Gavin Logan, who stood down this year, for their tireless efforts serving Tweeddale West and Tweeddale East respectively.
I am working well with their replacements, Eric Small and Shona Haslam, and going forward, we are committed to taking forward plans for a Borderlands growth deal, which has the potential to be a real economic boost for the Borders.
I was pleased to hear the commitment from the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to the deal in his budget, and this will be a top priority for me as a MP in 2018.
Of course, Brexit will also continue to dominate the agenda next year, and I believe we have made significant progress on a number of fronts.
I will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to secure the best deal for all of our rural communities to ensure they prosper in the future.
I wish all readers of the Southern Reporter a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.