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A point of view: Tis the season for friendly greetings

WEST VALLEY ó Ah yes, the joy of the Christmas season in rural and small-town America. There is just nothing like it. In the valleys and the rolling hills of the Springville area, almost everyone knows their neighbors, and neighborly they are. There is a genuine concern for each other, and a joy in sharing whatever is needed, be it goods, services or greetings.

The brisk wintry season is here and the crisp temperatures are knocking at our doors. But the cold breezes, on the outside, are moderated by the warmth of citizensí hearts, on the inside. This is a season to rejoice, to renew contact with friends and to bring joy to those who are in need of friendship. There is the normal hustle and bustle and last-minute things to do. For children and some adults, the waiting time seems to move so slowly, and for others, the time seems to move too quickly. But, on the face of it, most of us seem to enjoy the busy holiday spirit, just as it is.

As with the lives of many of our friends and neighbors, young and old, there is the feeling of anticipation. There are some in our midst who, at this time of the year, feel the burden of loneliness. And yet, one never needs to feel alone. There are many around you and near you, who are waiting for that special greeting of warmth, just for and from you. Most of us, if not all, have experienced the joyous ups and the lonely downs. We know the joy which comes from giving and we know too, the need to receive the gift of a friendly greeting. We know the pleasure of helping to fulfill the needs of others, as others have so kindly done for us. Will you join us, in this holiday gift wish for others?

For the children, we ask that they be given a gentle hand of encouragement. For the teenagers, we ask that they be given a special measure of attentiveness, so that they may know the dignity of sharing hope with others. For the adults in our midst, we ask that they be given strength, patience and love, so as to be a source of thoughtful guidance and serve as role models of virtue. For those who are grieving, may they find comfort in the warm memories of their loved ones and appreciate how rich they are, that their lives were joined, if for only a short time. For those who are lonely, we ask that they may find the joy in giving warmth and cheer to others and thus, both the giver and the receiver will be abundantly blessed.

For all those who, with such genuine dedication and unselfish commitment, serve our community, in numerous ways, we extend grateful appreciation. To our health providers, the law enforcement agencies, fire department, ambulance and emergency personnel, human service volunteers, other first responders and caregivers, may each of them know our sincere gratitude.

For the men and women of our armed forces who sacrifice their lives for us, we are supremely thankful. We ask that they be given a special measure of encouragement and support and receive a special thank you from a grateful and humble people. And to the leaders of our country, we ask that they may be blessed with the insight, virtue and discernment of wisdom, to have the character and the determination to effectively lead a willing, dedicated, and thankful people.

To all, it is our hope that truth and justice may prevail, in a world free of tyranny. May the year 2014 be filled with joy and may peace prevail and freedom ring out, for all to hear. This is a joyous season of giving. The yesterdays are a precious memory, the tomorrows are an opportunity to give, but today is a special time, when we can share the gift which lasts for all seasons.

Throughout our neighboring hills, valleys and meadows, may the glorious resounding of neighborly voices be heard with a merry Christmas to all and to all, a blessed new year.
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