Nothing compares to Christmas week. As we rapidly approach this most joyous of Christian holidays, the anticipation brings out the child in all of us. And well it should.
Through the years, I will readily admit I have been less than engulfed in the Christmas spirit. That stems from my "routine" mentality and the obvious major disruption to that routine during this time of year.
But honestly, as that magical day approaches, I join the ranks of virtually all others and find myself folding into the spirit of the season.
I always have two concerns however this time of year. First, I find myself obsessing over the traffic issues with millions of Americans taking to the roadways in often less-than-ideal driving conditions. As a longtime reporter, I unfortunately have had to report on holiday traffic fatalities and that alone will break your heart.
My second concern - though perhaps it should be first - is for those families who will have little to celebrate because of financial conditions.
As most of you recall, this newspaper sponsored for a number of years a holiday campaign to help those in need. We ended that program a few years back - after nearly 30 years - because the workload was simply overwhelming.
But before we made the decision to abandon our efforts, we first made assurances that another group would take up the cause. And they did.
I am concerned about those families who - through no fault of their own - have little to celebrate. I have far less concern for those families who face the same dilemma because of their own irresponsible actions.
Granted, it is often difficult to determine which is the case. If children are involved, it matters little the circumstances.
As my personal calendar turns over and over, I join the ranks of those who celebrate the joy of good health above all else. That single factor far outweighs other aspects of our daily lives.
We here at the newspaper hope and pray your holiday is safe, joyous, peaceful and memorable. And if your circumstances are right, we hope you can share the joys of this season with others less fortunate.
But above all, we wish all of our readers the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.