It has been cheering to see Christmas lights and trees popping up in homes and streets in and around Turriff over the past week, although perhaps slightly earlier than normal.
After the year we have had, it is hardly surprising that people want to create some early Christmas sparkle.
All our lives were turned upside down in March when the Covid pandemic led to a nationwide lockdown.
Here in Aberdeenshire, reported cases of the virus have again been increasing in recent weeks.
At the weekend, NHS Grampian said that the surge could not be attributed solely to the high -profile outbreaks at some food processing plants. They believe there is now evidence of community transmission in the region.
This is very worrying, and it raises the question again as to whether Aberdeenshire might be moved into a higher tier of Coronavirus restrictions. At the time of writing, that seems likely but has not yet been confirmed.
It is clear however that we cannot afford to be complacent.
We cannot tell ourselves that it is only in England and the Central Belt that the virus has spread out of control.
The only way to keep safe is to follow the social distancing and hygiene guidelines - wash our hands regularly; cover our faces; and make space for one another.
On a positive note, I was pleased to see the devolved administrations and the UK Government agreeing a common approach to the easing of restrictions around Christmas time.
There are many families spread around different parts of the country travelling to and from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland to visit relatives.
However, the relaxation of restrictions over the festive period must not be taken as a ‘free for all’.
Those wishing to meet up will be allowed to create a ‘bubble’ of no more than three households during the five-day period, 23-27 December, and it is important to remember that it must be the same three households throughout. If anyone in the bubble contracts Covid-19, all members of that bubble will be required to isolate for 14 days.
We will all have to be careful over the festive period to avoid another surge in infections in January.
Hopefully, as the vaccine starts to roll-out in the coming months, we can get back to focusing on rebuilding our economy.
That will take time as the figures reported by the Chancellor during his spending review last week made clear.
One of the best ways to revive the economy is to invest, and this government is doing just that with multi-billion spending commitments on green energy, infrastructure, and our armed forces.
The Chancellor also announced additional funding for Scotland, with £2.4billion more for the Scottish Government next year. That is on top of £8.2billion already provided to help deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
It is up to Scottish Ministers now to decide how that money is spent north of the border, and I hope they do so wisely.