'Tis the season for best-of-the-year lists, and so here is mine:
Virus of the year
Has to be Covid-19, doesn't it? I mean ... yeah ... no ... not even close. Although I bet someone on the internet will still disagree.
Business hero of the year
It's you, if you are in business.
If not then pass this award on to your sister or daughter, your brother-in-law or your mate Dave.
You know who they are. They were at the coal face when the world crumbled in late March.
Like everyone, I worried about my job and my family and whether I needed a six-month supply of toilet paper.
But for those who owned and ran small- and medium-sized businesses, the weight of responsibility was heavy indeed.
There was the logistics of supply, the uncertainty of demand, the bureaucratic complexities of government support and the expectations of staff all to be juggled and balanced along with personal fears for the future.
Some didn't make it, some are still struggling but many more have managed to pivot, adapt or simply push on through to some sort of stability or growth as we head into 2021.
Well done. It's been a hell of a year.
Economic statistic of the year
The balance of trade.
That's the difference between the monetary value of the nation's exports and imports.
And, gee, it's a been a lifesaver for this country.
In September we recorded the biggest trade surplus since the dairy boom of 2014 - the rock star economy years.
Basically, our food commodity export volumes and prices held firm well while we imported much less of everything than usual.
I suppose it's a controversial choice. Unemployment, retail spending and even GDP have all come in better than expected in the latter part of this year.
But we've had government stimulus, low interest rates, house prices and the enthusiastic consumer spending puffing things up.
The strong balance of trade really underpinned things at a basic level. It meant real money continuing to flow into the country and much less than usual flowing out.
Cocktail of the year
The Old Fashioned.
We all tried to grow as people during lockdown. Some baked sourdough bread, some took up instruments, I worked on my drinking.
A last big night out in March ended for me at an overpriced bar paying too much for a very nice Old Fashioned cocktail.
So when the lockdown was announced and the panic buying began I reached for the Bourbon, bitters and Cointreau.
The dash of Cointreau is a controversial variation on the more traditional sugar syrup but in times when fresh orange rinds weren't always to hand it serves (as the PM likes to say) a double duty.
It turns out I wasn't alone.
A July Bloomberg report had French drinks company Remy Cointreau citing home cocktail making as the saviour which prevented a complete collapse of its profits after bars and pubs closed.
Book of the Year
The Books app on my phone tells me I'm still only 58 per cent of the way through my earnest, self-improving lockdown choice: Moby Dick.
Herman Melville's 1851 epic does have some great one liners:
"Ignorance is the parent of fear."
"Think not, is my eleventh commandment; and sleep when you can, is my twelfth."
But it is also long-winded and prone to digressing into inaccurate and unfocused rants about whale biology and 19th-century shipping equipment.
So I'm giving book of the year to Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman
It's not quite a business book but is a fascinating study of psychological and social behaviour.
And it is unashamedly optimistic.
Bregman uses science to make the case that popular notions of apocalyptic social breakdown are just plain wrong.
Published in 2020, it was written pre-pandemic but proved absolutely on the money - at least in this country.
Humans are actually hardwired to working together during a crisis and almost always do, he argues, referencing events like the Blitz in World War II London.
One of Bregman's key examples is a comparison of William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies with the reality of what happened to a group of Tongan boys in the 1960s.
In Golding's novel a bunch of kids stranded on an island all revert to a brutal animalistic state. In reality, when this happened and a group of boys was stranded together for 15 months, they all worked together to survive and make the ordeal bearable.
The takeaway is a bit like one of those slightly desperate tourism slogans that small towns come up with:
"Humans: not as bad as you'd think."
It was a nice reminder in a time of panicked supermarket queues and bitter political division.
Listed company of the year
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was really in the thick of things this year and gets my pick for listed company of the year.
It's not the biggest riser on the NZX - although returns in excess of 40 per cent are pretty impressive.
But global demand for its respiratory equipment has put it at the centre of a grim business that it never hoped or planned to be in.
The company has worked with dedication and commitment to get its product to markets that desperately needed it.
Well done. It's been a hell of a year.