By the time this publication hits the street, many of you will be winding down from your holiday shopping and focusing on spending quality family time with your family and friends. For those of you who are not finished with your shopping, good luck!
    At Up & Coming Weekly, we will be finishing up our New Year’s edition, and then taking a much deserved break to spend time with our families. We’ve already had the privilege and pleasure of spending this year with you, our friends.
    Holiday celebrations vary for many in our community, but they all focus on the joy of the season. At my house, the weeks leading up to Christmas are always a little chaotic. We grab hold of every aspect of the season and try to wring every bit of joy out of it. I have to say, for the most part, we succeed.
    {mosimage}We are fortunate. Unlike many in our community we have the benefit of home and hearth and have the economic security to celebrate the season. That isn’t the case for many in our community. This season, as you reflect on your good fortune and the security of family and friends, take a moment to pause and think about those who are less fortunate. Remember them in both word and deed.
    While you are thinking of them, add another thought: Think about our soldiers and airmen who are far from home. Remember their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families. If you know a military family who is alone this season, think about opening your home to them and welcoming them into your family.
    And when you sit down to share your Christmas feast, say a prayer for those men and women who are standing a line. Pray for their safety, for their well-being both physically and mentally, and give thanks for their willingness to protect all we hold dear.
    As you watch your children or loved ones open their presents with a sparkle in their eye, remember that no matter our faults, we have the gift of freedom. And then remember those who will never understand what an awesome responsibility and privilege that is.
    From the staff at Up & Coming Weekly — Bill, Jean, Tim, Shani, Suzy, Maureen, Sam, Barbara, our distribution team and myself, we wish you and yours the happiest of Christmases and all the best in the upcoming year.
    Merry Christmas!

Contact Janice Burton at

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