When the Christmas lights went up early across Britain, everyone knew it was a sign that we all needed some cheer – for ourselves and to impart to others.
With news of vaccine roll-outs beginning soon, relaxed measures for Christmas Day and the thought that this awful, awful year is almost over – truly an annus horribilis – the nation has started to breathe a collective sigh of relief over a tub of Christmas chocolates; but while we may have gotten over the first ridge, there's still the rest of the mountain to climb.
As any mountaineer knows, you may think you've reached the top of the peak, and feel inclined to rest in your accomplishments – until you see the clouded summit rising high above you. There's a long way to go yet.
The next camp up the mountain will be approached in January – we have Brexit to contend with. At the time of writing, Britain has acheived a deal but this positive pre-New Year news must not diminish the fact we have a tremendous task ahead of us.
Behind Brexit, of course, lies the long-term effects of the economic slump caused by Covid-19. The support bills have to be paid; unemployment is fast approaching 2.6m and rising; lenders will be starting to pull the emergency cord.
How Britain claws its way up these twin rock faces is going to be a nail-biting ride for everyone.
And then there is climate change – ever present, not forgotten but tackling this global behemoth has had to be put on hold while dealing with Covid-19 and Brexit.
The worst of the pandemic of 2020 may be over by the middle of 2021, and we may all be back to our old haunts in an office-based environment.
But the real challenges still lie ahead of us. This is where FTAdviser wants you to let us know what your biggest hurdle might be in 2021, so that we can help you in the ascent. It's going to be a tough climb, but we will be right there with you.
For now, take another swig of mulled wine. You all deserve it. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year – whatever it might bring.