For most of us, this is a time to reflect on the year gone past and to get together with friends and loved ones.
There can be few places as magical as Edinburgh in winter. On Monday, the night sky will be illuminated by thousands of fireworks as we celebrate Hogmanay in typically spectacular style.
We are immensely proud that so many people choose to share their New Year with us and enjoy everything our city has to offer.
But it is also a time of consideration for those who aren’t lucky enough to have friends and family around them.
Our thoughts go out also to the families of the brave and dedicated soldiers from the city-based 3rd Battalion The Rifles who have made the ultimate sacrifice while fighting in Afghanistan. I was privileged to award the Freedom of the City to the battalion earlier this year but then saddened to present the Queen Elizabeth Cross to the father of Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman, who was tragically killed in action.
Many Edinburgh-based members of the armed forces will be away from family at New Year. Although they are away, they will never be far from their loved ones’ thoughts as they serve their country.
Edinburgh, like so many other cities, continues to weather a difficult economic climate. The city has been through some difficult times before, but thanks to the strength and resilience of our people, we have come through stronger and fitter, able to face the year ahead with the help of one another.
I would like to wish everyone in Edinburgh, resident or visitor, a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
• The Rt Hon Donald Wilson is Lord Provost of Edinburgh