Coming off of a contentious Presidential election, the news in the weeks that followed wasn't much of an improvement. Our military is still at war, the nation is poised on a financial cliff, a young mother allows her son to be beaten, abandons him and runs off to Disneyland, people are murdered daily, nations seem on the brink of war, and so on, and so on.

But if you need a lift, just look close to home. Our towns, schools, churches and other community groups are holding festive events to welcome the holidays. Parents are bringing their children out and about, not only sharing the holidays with them but introducing them to the joys of small-town America.

This is the place where Scouts and churches and schools collect food and gifts for those who need a hand. It's where people give whatever they can to bring something good to someone else.

Whatever the perils of the world, we can find comfort here at home, here where our hearts are.

"The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas."

-- W.C. Jones