This is undoubtedly one of my favourite times of the year, as after a long year it gives us the opportunity to put our feet up and spend time with the ones we love most. And 2014 has certainly been an eventful year.
Of course, in September, we had the independence referendum and after years of campaigning, I was delighted that the Borders overwhelmingly rejected separation. We also had the successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with medals galore for Team Scotland, and the exciting news of a second royal baby on the way as the Duchess of Cambridge announced she was pregnant.
However, for those who are employed in our emergency services this will not be a quiet period, as they continue to work tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy. They will be working in order to keep our hospitals, fire stations and police stations open. I want to thank them for all of their continuing work. Our nurses, doctors, police officers and others who work over the festive period are too often overlooked and I want them to know how much we all appreciate their service.
We should also spare a thought for the brave men and women in our armed forces. As they fight to provide us with safety we should not forget the great sacrifices that they are making. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Hawick a peaceful holiday period and a very merry Christmas.
JOHN LAMONT MSP