Across the north-east, Christmas lights are bursting into life to drive cold winter away and bring some sparkle and cheer to these particularly dark days.
Many communities are switching on their festive illuminations this weekend in a range of innovative, socially-distanced ways.
We’ve opened our archives to take a look at Aberdeen’s Christmas decorations from past years, including some special guests who had the honour of turning on the lights.
One of Aberdeen’s best-loved sons, Denis Law, led the parade down Union Street that saw the lights burst into life in 2017. Some 15,000 people turned out to see the football legend, who had just been granted the Freedom of the City.
The annual lighting up ceremony has drawn big crowds over the years… just look how bustling Union Street is after the switch was thrown in 1974.
The Union Street decorations are eye-catching at street level, but this bird’s-eye view from 1992 shows how the thoroughfare is turned into a river of light.
This lovely photo from 1989 shows just how captivated kids are by the wonder of Christmas. Danny Burnett, 4, and his sister, Kira, 2, were clearly under the spell cast as the lights burst into life.
The Christmas lights don’t appear by magic… a lot of work goes into putting them up and keeping them on. Back in 1994, Ronnie Morgan, an electrician with Grampian Regional Council, was pictured working on the lights high above Union Street after they were damaged by heavy rain and wind.
Bringing light and cheer at Christmas time isn’t just down to the council. Over the years many shops have played their part, too. The decorations at the Northern Co-operative Society building in Loch Street were a feature of the festive season in the 60s, including this Snow White-themed display from 1967.
Three ships go sailing by as the Christmas lights shine over Union Street in 2001.
Five-year-old Stephanie Keenan had a starring role in 1995, when she helped Daniel O’Donnell switch on Aberdeen’s Christmas light. She was a big fan of the Irish singer.
Council leader Kate Dean is joined by the cast of Balamory, Big Brother winner Cameron Stout and special guests at the Union Street Christmas lights switch on ceremony in 2004.
Rudolph leads Santa’s sleigh as the switching on parade thrills crowds on Union Street in 1965.