Letter from the Editor 1

The holiday season is upon us, and the spirit of giving and serving is in full swing. This time of year can carry so many wonderful memories and is often a time to celebrate long-time family traditions and make new ones. For some, however, this time of year can be hard to get through for a variety of reasons. There are so many practical ways to reach out to those around us who may be alone during the holidays or may be spending their first winter without a loved one. Even little gestures can go a long way and can make people feel thought of and loved.

During this time of buying gifts, it is easy to focus on the commercialization of the holidays, and it can even be distasteful at times. One of my favorite things to observe on Christmas morning at our house is not necessarily watching my kids open their gifts from me, but rather watching them give each other gifts that they came up with on their own. I can see how much joy they have to give something that means something to them. Every year is slightly different, but all four of them give gifts to each other without being prompted. Sometimes the gift is handmade, sometimes it’s a treasured possession that they are parting with as a regift, and sometimes they have spent the little bit of money they have on something new. Regardless, the excitement is always the same, and the personal joy that comes from selflessly giving is so evident on their face. Giving is so much better than receiving.

For our holiday issue, we wanted to spotlight how some people in our community choose to give back. There are countless ways to give and serve around the city, and needs can definitely be greater at this time of year. Thanks for all you do in your own way to give of yourself, and if you are looking for more ways to get involved in your own community, reach out to local churches, schools, hospitals, fire departments and city hall, as they often know of local needs and ways to get involved.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!