The release of the John Lewis annual Christmas television advert has come to symbolise the beginning of the countdown to the big day. This year's advert highlights the kindness displayed by the public throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with the strap-line "Give a Little Love".
The advert was finally made only after the John Lewis' Partnership debated whether or not it was appropriate to produce the message at all, given the ravages of Covid-19.
It had considered scrapping its highly-anticipated marketing campaign, but revealed that its charity partners had persuaded it to go ahead.
It hopes to raise £4 million for two worthy charities: FareShare, helping people facing food poverty, and Home-Start, assisting parents who need support.
As well, it has promised to match all customer donations up to £2m.
This decision was correct. If ever the country needed a feelgood factor for a pick-me-up Christmas, it has to be this year.
The shameful abdication of the duty to govern by the Northern Ireland Executive for most of this past week, compounded by the heartbreak of the Northern Ireland soccer team in the Euro 2020 play-off defeat to Slovakia at Windsor Park, makes the need for a Christmas to end all Christmases all the more pressing.
However, that is not to downplay the very real problems which we all still face.
Dr Tom Black, the local chairman of the British Medical Association, said yesterday that a lockdown in the approach to and over Christmas is now more likely than not if the Stormont Executive presses ahead with its current plans to gradually lift the restrictions over the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, the local hotel sector underlines that its despondency has turned to "disbelief and distress" over Thursday's compromise decision by the Executive.
These are not reasons for further doom and gloom.
They are the occasion for a recommitment to enjoying the best Christmas possible.