Like Santa's elves, the Daily Pilot staff has been busy crafting the DP 103.

That's the annual list of newsmakers and influential types who made headlines in 2012.

This year's installment is set to run Dec. 26. The DP 103 is something of quixotic, end-of-year tradition (even the list that goes past a round number to 103 is odd) — a part tongue-in-cheek, part serious and (we hope) part humorous examination of otherwise serious people in the news.

We keep the names on the list quiet. However, you can guess that some of the usual suspects — politicians, city managers, police chiefs, business leaders, activists, philanthropists, influence peddlers, media types and so forth — will make the list again. We also sometimes include mini-themes — short lists within the list — to recognize folks who cannot be included every year; last year we recognized religious, charitable and athletic leaders.

Just being in public office — or the public eye — does not warrant inclusion on the DP 103. We try to pick officials who used their positions to make news, inspire debate and make meaningful changes to the community. Sometimes elected officials consider it a slight when they're not included, but that is often because they had a quiet year.

Then, of course, we sometimes forget to include a newsmaker or two. One of the cool additions last year to help remedy that was the inclusion of Daily Pilot reader picks, both within the main list and in an addendum.

I'd like to continue that tradition in 2012, so post a comment below this column online or, if you prefer to keep your advice confidential, email me your picks directly.

Our editors and reporters will comb through the submissions. The list will never be all-inclusive. There are certainly more than 103 folks who make news, or lend influence, in any given year, but Newport-Mesa residents are deeply engaged in community life.

The DP 103 is steeped in traditions so we try not to alter it too much. That means we'll put a power broker at No. 1 and a silly choice at 103. We don't include institutions, boards or government bodies as a whole, but we do, of course, include the folks who comprise them.

So, please, only nominate people (and an animal or two) so the elves can get back to work.

JOHN CANALIS is the editor for the Daily Pilot, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and john.canalis@latimes.com.