The cold winter winds have blown the grey skies away to beautiful blue this week, giving us a new look at the majestic mountains that surround us. I am once again awestruck by the beauty of the place in which we have the privilege to live.

As we move toward the holidays, I love to watch the homes and streets light up with decorations; it’s a sign of life, and celebration. Even though many of us have had our struggles this year, we all have so much to celebrate and be grateful for, and this special season reminds us of the many blessings we enjoy.

Is the glass of your life half full or half empty right now? Is your heart full of optimism or regrets? Do the coming days of Christmas fill you with joyful anticipation or sad memories? It is easy this time of year to put too much pressure on ourselves as we get caught up in the busyness. Doesn’t Christmas mean just a little more? I don’t think any of us want to lose the peace of this special season.

Instead of speeding up during this time, let’s take the time to slow down and remember the true meaning and purpose of this holiday. Let’s remember and be thankful for the many ways we have been blessed this year and share these gifts with the precious family and friends in our lives.

With grateful hearts, let’s make this Christmas a time of true joy and celebration.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” Dr. Seuss

-Janelle Bruland