Merry Christmas PDF E-mail

Happy holidays, Hamilton County.

This week’s edition wouldn’t fit well in an envelope, but it is in many ways a giant Christmas card from the community, to the community, full of well wishes from your neighbors and friends. These are the kind of genuine, sentimental messages that make this time of year so special. We hope you’ll take some extra time, grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, sit down in your favorite chair and enjoy.

This is a magical time of year, after all, especially in the eyes of children. The letters from local kids sharing their favorite thoughts about Christmas bring a chuckle and a smile, reminding all of us how simple life may seem to the youngsters in our midst.

Our hope this holiday season is that everyone can slow down for a while, think like a child again, focus on the things that really matter and celebrate all the blessings in our lives. That would be a gift in and of itself.

That’s also a challenge these days, to be sure. All the high-tech gadgets and fingertip access to real-time information are designed to make our lives simpler, we thought, though somehow they also tend to speed up the treadmill. I’ve heard lots of folks say they would like to hit the pause button once in a while, and there is no time like the present to get off the grid and do just that.

The greatest gift of all, of course, is the one we received so very long ago with the birth of the Christ child. We celebrate that gift of life and hope with a heartfelt prayer.

Whatever your stage in life, make the time this week to truly cherish the people and blessings in your world. Whether that involves some extra quality time with your spouse and immediate family, an overdue phone call to a childhood friend, or a genuine chat with a neighbor, make it a priority this year. Conversation over a quiet walk in the snow (if there is any) can be pretty spectacular as well. The older we get, the more precious that quiet time and sense of connection becomes, especially at Christmas.

May you all feel happy and blessed this holiday season.

Kurt Johnson

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