Don Your Way column: The most wonderful time of the year...or is it?
We're moving into a time of year that seems to truly divide opinion.
No, I'm not talking about the dreaded B-word and October 31 (mention of which is banned from this column) and its impending arrival.
I'm on about the sequence of events we have to look forward to as the dark winter nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop.
Some dread the cold mornings, the rain-lashed nights and the October-November-December triple whammy of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.
There's the little sects that hate the 'Americanised' trick-or-treat onslaught, those who can't stand the nightly firework 'bomb blasts' in the run up to and beyond November 5 and then after all that's out of the way, the full on rush into the spendathon and stress zone for many that is Christmas.
But there's many who adore the run of the next few months.
Dressing up and decorating the house for Halloween, carving pumpkins, wrapping up warm and finding the nearest firework display and being able to tuck into a toffee apple as the heat of a blazing bonfire toasts the air and the frantic but fun round of parties, shopping and over indulging that December and the festive season brings.
Tucked in amongst all this of course is the respect and symbolism of Remembrance Sunday and paying our respects to the fallen.
It is certainly a busy time, whatever your thoughts and feelings.
I'll admit, I fall into the latter camp and it is one of my favourite times of the year.
Although my kids have gone past the dressing up and trick or treating phase, I used to love the annual trip to pick up a pumpkin, watching them choose their costumes and then seeing the huge smiles on coming back from the local streets with a bucketful of Haribo.
I also love the tradition of Bonfire Night. As a child, it was one of my most eagerly awaited nights of the year, watching as my dad let off a box of Standard Fireworks in the back garden, with a little fire in a brazier and waking up on November 6 to air thick with the smell of smoke.
And as a December baby (my birthday is a week before Christmas), naturally I've always loved the Christmas period too. There's many a year the annual office Christmas party had coincided with my own celebrations.
Again, I love the handed down traditions Christmas affords - getting a festive wreath to stick on the door, marking up the Christmas edition of the Radio Times, sitting writing the cards while Slade, The Pogues and Shakin' Stevens do their bit in the background and indulging in the festive foods on offer.
In the words of the song, it's the most wonderful time of the year - and over the next few months I'll be getting heartily involved that's going on.
Now who's for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie?