Looking out at the world it is sometimes difficult to find good cheer this Christmas, as we see the continuing news of disasters and war.
At home so many of our fellow citizens are struggling and we see the rise of the use of Food Banks, something that we should never happen in 21st century Scotland.
Yet amongst this we see how we can come together to help one another, the dedicated volunteers who rally round to help their fellow citizens, the people who are finding life difficult themselves but can still donate to help others, the huge sums raised to help those whose lives have been devastated by the hurricane in the Philippines.
The world has just mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela, whose life has shown how even in the darkest and most intractable of situations there can be hope and reconciliation.
I and my staff continue to deal with a multitude of individual issues relating to all areas of government - from child support and welfare through to international development.
I know very well from my postbag that the people of Angus care passionately about a huge number of issues, and are not slow at letting me know their views, many of which I am happy to share with relevant ministers, although I am not so sure that Ministers are quite as happy to receive them!
The coming year is an historic one for Scotland, in September we will be asked to decide on whether we wish to be an independent nation. No one would be surprised that I hope for a resounding Yes vote, but wherever you presently stand on the issue I hope that you will listen to the arguments being made and take part in the debate.
We should reflect that whatever differences we may have we live in an advanced democracy and can settle our differences peacefully through the ballot box.
Christmas is a time of hope and renewal. Although we will undoubtedly face other difficulties in the coming year, let us believe that we can tackle them and make our country a better place.
I would wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and, above all, peaceful new year.