Christmas Gift List FOR ALL SEASONS

At this time of the year, our early ancestors may have greeted you with...Happy Cristes męsse" and "Frohe Weihnachten." But for us, we want to wish you a "Merry Christmas." We thank our many readers for their holiday greetings and for their many thoughtful comments sent to us throughout the year. "Tis the season" and we share our list of gift wishes and special thoughts to our many readers and to others along the way.

The brisk wintry season is at the threshold and the crisp temperatures are knocking at our doors. But the cold breezes on the outside are moderated by the warmth of peoples' hearts on the inside. This is a season to rejoice, to renew contacts with friends, and to bring joy to those who are in need of friendship's generosity. To be sure, there are the normal hustle and bustle and last minute things to do. For children and for some adults, the waiting time seems to move so slowly, and for others, the time seems to move so quickly. But, most of us seem to enjoy the holiday quickened pace and we would not have it any other way.

As with the lives of many of our friends and neighbors, young and old, there is the feeling of anticipation. And then, there are some in our midst who at this time of the year seem to feel the burden of loneliness.

Many of us empathize with those who are full of joyous anticipation as well as those who feel a bit on the nostalgic side of remembering times past. Most of us, if not all, have experienced the "joyous ups" and the "lonely downs." We know the joy which comes from giving and we know too, the need 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?

For the children, we ask that they be given a gentle hand of encouragement and reassurance. And especially, may they feel a special nurturing hand of love and human support. 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 hope and possibility thinking. 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 virtue. For those who are grieving, 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. And to those of our neighbors who have suffered the ravages of fire, water, wind and natural disaster, we ask that their lives may be put back together and that their hopes may find enriching fulfillment.

For all those who, with such genuine dedication and unselfish commitment, serve 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.

For 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 2008 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.

To our many readers we wish you... "Wesolychhuman serices Swiat," "Felices Fiestas," Happy Cristes męsse," "Frohe Weihnachten," "Buone Feste," "Frohe Feiertage," "Chag Sameach," "God Yule."

And so from your columnists we remind you of these words "Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift, which is why it is called the 'present' for all seasons." Dear friends, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And that is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.

2008

The events for this year are still unfolding. History is still being written.

And so we say in the words of Shakespeare...

"All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances"

And so, we will see...