Christmas Countdown part 1 - let's be thankful
There's no escaping it now - we are well and truly in the Christmas season. With only three (aargh!) blogs left before the big day, I thought I'd use each one to talk about something different. Next week we'll have some last minute shopping advice for those of you who are as unprepared as I am, and the week after we'll look at what 2017 might have in store for us. But it seems right to pause for a moment and take a look back at 2016.
For some people, it has been an excellent year. But many of us will look back on 2016 with a sense of bewilderment, wondering how we managed to hopscotch from Bowie to Brexit to Trump in the blink of an eye. And no matter what side of the political fence you sit on, there's no doubting that the fence - or great border wall, if you will - has never been higher or more difficult to see over. No matter who won or lost, the outcome has certainly been a more divided world.
And while we in the UK argue over semantics and arcane points of law, you don't have to go too far to see that many places that are literally falling apart - Syria being the obvious example.
It can be depressing. But through it all, glimmers of hope emerge. For every portent of doom, there's a silver lining. In that spirit, I'd thoroughly recommend the Positive News website and magazine - looking at the world through a prism of progress, possibility and positivity. There is far more that unites us than divides us. Next week, we'll get back to the shopping - but for now, stay positive!