Well, we have almost made it. If you are a very young person of a “certain age”, then you have probably felt like Christmas would never get here. If you are like me and a good bit over a “certain age”, then you may feel like we just did this a couple of weeks ago. But no matter what category you fall into, Christmas will soon find you, and as we all agree, there is nothing else quite like it. In the Christian world and many other places, it is the most important religious holiday of all; the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. As we all know and often regret, in this “modern” world, Christmas has taken on much of the secular trappings of something far different from the original story. That shouldn’t surprise us, but it also shouldn’t deter us from campaigning against that disappointing trend. Christmas is a glorious, special time, and its true meaning must never be forgotten, but we can also celebrate the simple joy and peace that reflects the true meaning of the season in so many different ways. Christmas means gathering with family, friends and acquaintances of long ago to keep old connections alive and old bridges strong. It sustains tradition and replays the fabled stories we love to hear and laugh at over and over. The wonder of this season is its power to stir the coals of caring and love that sometimes lie unattended in danger of dying away. Christmas restores the warmth of the human bond. It is an endless collection of brilliant, sparkling emotions, but most importantly it is the story of a special birth and a time of rebirth for us all. As we approach this special day, I hope the true meaning of this season enfolds you and those around you, and I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas.