It's December. And you know what December brings, right?
But there's something else that's always a part of December. It's the guessing game of who'll be TIME's Person of the Year. (That was the first thing you thought of, right?)
This year, the list of potential winners is as varied as any. These include Vladimir Putin of Russia, Al Gore. J.K. Rowling, Hu Jintao of China, and Steve Jobs, all mentioned on TIME's site.
Of course, calling it Person of the Year is almost a misnomer. What some people don't grasp is that the award goes to the person or persons that has affected our lives the most during the year.
The name sounds like it's a good guy award, but through the years, some less than honorable folks have gotten the nod. Adolf Hitler won it in 1938, Josef Stalin in '39, then again in '42. We guess TIME didn't want to make anyone feel bad.
Charles Lindbergh won the first one in 1927. Since then, it's been won by such well-known names as Gandhi, Churchill (twice), FDR (three times), Krushchev, DeGaulle, Queen Elizabeth, JFK, Pope John XXIII, Nixon (twice), Reagan (twice), Gorbachev (twice), Bill Clinton and both George Bushes (twice for the younger) and lesser knowns as the computer, U.S. soldiers, those under 25, middle Americans and YOU getting the surprising (some would say cop-out) award last year.
So who will get it this year? We're a lousy handicapper, but from TIME's short list -- which you can almost guarantee doesn't contain the eventual winner -- we'd pick Steve Jobs.
However, there are lots of other possibilites. Just remember the winner won't necessarily be someone we'll remember fondly.
Britney Spears, anyone?