Seasons Greetings from both of us

Holiday Greetings to all of our many readers. And, "thank you" too, for your many most thoughtful and cordial comments and well wishes throughout the year. "Tis the season," as they say, and we want to share with you a list of gift wishes and special thoughts for all those in our midst.

This column will appear in print at a time when the night time hours seem endless and the day light hours seem to go by so quickly. The cold wintry season is standing on the threshold and we recognize its presence whenever we open the outside door or gaze outside the window. But most of all, it is a season to rejoice, to renew contacts with friends and to bring joy to those who are in need of friendships' touching hand. To be sure, there are the normal hustle and bustle and last minute things to do and there just does not seem to be enough time to accomplish all that needs to be done. But, on the face of it, most of us seem to enjoy the holiday busyness. In fact, if we were given more time to get ready, we probably would not do anything much differently. Somehow, most of us seem to manage... just like it is.

As with the lives of many of our friends and neighbors, young and old, there is the feeling of excitement and anticipation. And then, there are some in our midst who at this time of the year seem to feel the heaviness of loneliness and seemingly a reality of emptiness. Many of our readers can empathize with those who are full of joyous anticipation as well as those who feel somewhat on the lonely side of remembering times past. Most of us, if not all of us, have experienced along life's path the "joyous ups" and the "lonely downs." We know the joy which comes from giving and we know, too, the need others have to receive the gift of a friendly human touch. We know the pleasure of helping to fulfill the cherished needs of others, as others have so kindly done for us. Will you join us in our holiday "gift wish" for others ... so that others may receive the special warmth of a sensitive and caring giver?

To the children, we ask that they be given a warm gentle hand of guidance, support and reassurance. But especially, may they feel a special nurturing hand of love and may they see their dreams as the magic of a falling star that they can catch, cherish and hold close to their heart. For the teenagers in our midst, we ask that they be given a special measure of virtuous attentiveness and value-laden guidance so that they may know the dignity of sharing in the responsibility for what is and what can be. And may their hopes for a bright tomorrow be filled with an initiative of possibility awareness. For the adults in our midst, we ask that they be given strength, patience, perseverance, love and foresight so to be a source of principled guidance for our children and young people and serve as exemplified role models of principle and virtue. For those who are grieving, it is our hope that they may find comfort in the warm memories of their loved ones now past and so appreciate how rich they are that their lives were joined if for only a short time. For those who are lonely and feel forgotten, we ask that they may find the joy in giving warmth and cheer to others and thus, both the giver and the receiver are abundantly blessed. To those of our neighbors who have suffered the ravages of fire, water, wind and natural disasters, we ask that their lives may be put back together and that their hopes may find enriching fulfillment.

To all those who have, with such genuine dedication and unselfish commitment, served our community in numerous ways, we extend "grateful appreciation." And especially to our local hospitals, the law enforcement agencies, fire department, ambulance and emergency personnel, human service volunteers, other first responders and care givers ... may each of them know the warmth of sincere gratitude felt by an appreciative and thankful public.

To the men and women of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives for us, we are supremely thankful and our hearts go out to their loved ones. To the men and women of our armed forces who are sacrificing to defend freedom and to restore liberty, we ask that they be given a special measure of encouragement and support and receive a special "thank you" from a grateful and humble people. And to the leaders of our Country, we ask that they may be blessed with the insight, virtue, and discernment of wisdom, so to have the character and the determination to effectively lead a willing, dedicated, and thankful people.

To all, it is our hope that truth and justice may prevail in a world free of terrorism and tyranny. May the year 2007 be filled with joy and may PEACE prevail and freedom ring out for all to hear. May "God bless America" and all freedom loving people around the world.

And so, to our many friends and neighbors, we wish you at this season and always... "Wesolychhuman serices Swiat," "Felices Fiestas," "Buone Feste," "Frohe Feiertage," "Chag Sameach,""God Yule."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and in the words of Charles Dickens' Tiny Tim "God Bless Us, Everyone." And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.