COVID, lockdown, furlough, redundancy, Brexit... news headlines have been dominated by these issues this year.

Press reporters have done their duty in reporting the news - but we've also brought you a daily selection of stories showing people at their very best - and tales to make you smile.

And with the year that we have had - boy, we've needed those pick-me-ups.

So here's a quick fix of some of our happier stories over recent months.

We hope they bring a smile to your face...

1. Big Chip Man

York Press:

Oliver with the famous chip

York dad Oliver Dale will forever be known as 'Big Chip Man' after he sent us a photo of a giant chip. The story made TV's Have I Got News For You and sparked a chip war among Press readers, who sent in photos of their even bigger chips! Oliver went on to use his new-found fame to raise money for good causes.

2. Baby Felix arrived after 5 miscarriages

York Press:

Little Felix with his parents

One of the happiest stories of the year - little Felix Woodhead arrived safe during lockdown to York couple Beth Sheriff and Darren Woodhead. Felix was born after the couple lost five pregnancies in three years.

Beth said: "It was sixth time lucky. He is our little miracle and we could not have asked for more. He has completed our little family."

They chose the name Felix because it means lucky in Latin.

Felix was born on June 23 at York Hospital weighing 6lbs 3oz.

He was just one of scores of new babies we celebrated in the pages of The Press with our regular lockdown babies articles. Thanks to all parents for sharing their photos and stories - we know they really cheered everyone up at such a difficult time.

3. York woman beats global lockdown to cycle round the world on tandem

York Press:

Cat Dixon celebrates her world record

Cast your minds back to life before lockdown (hard we know). York's Cat Dixon and her friend Raz Marsden became fastest people to cycle round world on a tandem - in 264 days. But their challenge was almost derailed in the final leg as they faced a dramatic race against time to leave France and return to Britain before lockdown arrived in March. They did it, in the nick of time. And made it into the record books. What an achievement.

Over nine months, the pair cycled more than 18,000 miles across five continents and raised at least £23,500 for Motor Neurone Disease – the MND Association – and Oxfam.

4. The gonks that saved Christmas

York Press:

Chelle Holmes, the York woman behind the craze

Decorating Terry's Chocolate Oranges as a colourful gonk became a crazy craze in December - with cake decorators across the globe joining in on the fun. It was all started by York mum Chelle Holmes who set up a Facebook group offering tutorials on how to make the colourful creatures. Makers sold them for around £10 a piece and many said it saved their Christmas by providing income during the pandemic.

5. We did it! Couples tie the knot during the pandemic

York Press:

York couple David Tucker and Jeanette Jones wed after two postponements

It has been tricky to get married during the pandemic - but many couples have managed it.

Granted, they have had to change their plans, and many have dates rearranged.

We have been sharing their happy stories and photos with readers in our new Our Wedding feature.

We'd love to hear from you if you got married in 2020 - or are getting married in 2021.

Click here to send us your photos and stories, or visit:

6. York dad creates winter wonderland garden with 35,000 lights

York Press:

David Pratt with the light display in his garden

With many Christmas displays cancelled, York dad David Pratt took matters into his own hands and built a Christmas wonderland light display in his garden.

And it was all for a good cause - to help a Yorkshire children's cancer charity.

7. Rare bird spotted in York for first time in 40 years

York Press:

Pictures of the hoopoe in Yorkshire

In October, our Camera Club members posted many photos of this rare hoopoe bird, believed to be seen in the York area for the first time in 40 years.

With its pinkish-brown body, distinctive black and white wings, long, black, downcurved bill and a long pinky-brown crest which it raises when it gets excited, the hoopoe is a sight to behold.The photos captured the hoopoe in all its glory: fanning its magnificent crest and wings, preparing to take flight, and eating grubs - its favourite snack.

Many club members commented on how thrilled they were to experience this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

If you would like to join our Camera Club, you are very welcome: click here or visit:

8. Love dinos so much I turned my garden into Jurassic Park!

York Press:

Clive Redhead in his Jurassic Park garden

This summer, we brought you the story of dinosaur fan Clive Redhead who turned his modest Yorkshire garden into a land that time forgot.

Giant T-Rex and baby Stegosaurus sit among the flower pots and ferns in his seaside garden.

Clive created this homage to the Jurassic era when he moved to Bridlington from Barmby Moor, near Pocklington, five years ago.

9. Face masks to make you smile

York Press:

Leisel Hamnet with her big smile face mask

Face masks became the must-have accessory of 2020 - and if you had to wear one, why not wear one with a smile - or to make people laugh? That was the view of North Yorkshire's Leisel Hamnet who designed a mask with a giant smile on it. Well, it made us laugh - just when we needed it!

10. Remembering York's Wimpy bars

York Press:

Photos of York's Wimpy Bars

We launched new nostalgia group on Facebook this summer Why We Love York - Memories, and invited readers to join and share memories and photos of growing up and living in York. Memories of York's Wimpy Bars proved to be popular and readers flooded us with their recollections and photos.

If you'd like to join the nostalgia group, click here, or visit