This year has been rough.
From one day to the next, news filtered through our heads regarding the economy, jobless rates, businesses in trouble, and more.
Clay County did not slide by this. People in our community -- and you probably know quite a few -- are dealing with these issues.
But, as a community, we kept moving forward. We persevered.
You see it on every street corner, in every store, in restaurants, throughout the entire county.
No matter how difficult times have become, this community has continued trudging along.
And we have found a way to let the spirit of the holiday season into our hearts.
That holiday spirit has lifted our heads high as we approach Christmas.
People volunteered time out of their busy schedules to ring the bell for the Salvation Army.
People took time out of their day to donate so much.
And we thank God for all of this.
Some families in our community received the most blessed of all Christmas gifts this year when soldiers stationed in Iraq made it home for the holidays.
Take the Ames' family, for example. On Sandy Ames' birthday, her son Michael Ames arrived in Indianapolis after being stationed in Iraq for a year.
Christmas and birthday gifts all wrapped into one.
Take the Crabb family.
Gary Crabb recently e-mailed regarding his daughter, Ashley Dawn Boisvert.
Ashley and her husband Brian arrived back home Sunday after spending nearly a year in Kirkuk, Iraq.
This was Ashley's second deployment to Iraq, according to her father. She, too, will get to spend time with family during the holiday before leaving again Jan. 5, 2010.
Gary e-mailed me recently to let us know she was home and wanted to extend an invitation to all family and friends to come and see Ashley.
As we take time out of our schedules today and Christmas Day, remember to cherish each moment with the family.
Local resident Kelly Wright pleaded with all of us to do this, especially during Christmas.
Recently, she wrote a letter to the editor asking us all to spend that time with our loved ones.
We thank you for taking time out of your day to write that letter.
We also recently received a Christmas card in the mail from a reader. Thank you Ila, by the way, for thinking of the staff at The Brazil Times.
The card also included a poem we wanted to share with all of you:
For many years, I have been so blessed
As I sit and look out my kitchen window, I'm given a most beautiful sight.
The beautiful star atop the grainery most wonderful to see
I thank you so much for faithfully doing this for all to see.
A blessed Christmas to all.
Thank you again, Ila.
The staff of The Brazil Times wants to extend its wish to all of you for a Merry Christmas.
May God Bless all of us.