CHRISTMAS is always a magical time - and nowhere else in Scotland does Christmas as well as Glasgow.

This time of year is all about spending time with loved ones and for friends and family coming together to enjoy the festive experience.

Following the recent launch of our annual festive Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign, it's clear that this year promises to be the best and most spectacular festive season yet for the city.

Against the backdrop of the glittering lights, George Square is a truly magical place at Christmas.

It's a joy to see the delight on children's faces when they come to see the lights.

George Square is also the venue for the ever popular ice rink, which attracts skaters of all ages.

And when it comes to Christmas shopping, Glasgow is in a league of its own.

We are the UK's largest and most successful shopping location outside London's West End, with an unbeatable range of over 1500 shops, from independent boutiques to high-end designers.

I'm particularly excited about the fantastic Christmas Market in St Enoch Square.

We welcome traders who have travelled from as far afield as Ecuador and Russia, to showcase an exciting range of gifts, crafts and food and drink.

With great places to eat and drink, and an outstanding programme of festive events, there is no place better than Glasgow to celebrate Christmas.

For information on Glasgow's festive programme, Christmas shopping hours, special transport and parking deals, and much more, visit glasgowloves

Winter can be difficult for older people. With rising fuel bills and colder weather, it can be a real challenge for pensioners to keep warm.

That's why last year my administration introduced an affordable warmth dividend of £100 for every over-80-year-old in Glasgow.

Everyone should be able to keep warm in their own home during the winter months.

I am determined that in Glasgow we will do everything we can to fight the scourge of fuel poverty.

Too many Glaswegians are struggling to heat their homes adequately and our elderly citizens are most at risk.

I have written to everyone who received the dividend last year advising them it is available again. But there are thousands of other older residents who are eligible but who didn't stake their claim last year.

In the first year around 15,000 of the 22,000 over-80s living in Glasgow received a £100 dividend.

So as the weather starts to turn colder, I want to ensure that all eligible residents take up their entitlement.

If you have a friend or family member who lives in the city and is aged over 80, please encourage them to get in touch.

Any Glasgow resident who is over 80 can get an application from the council's website or by calling 0141 287 7961.