Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season to all! With only a handful of days left before the Big Guy comes down the chimney, many of you are probably doing what I am doing—last-minute shopping. Sure, every year I'm not going to procrastinate until Santa has the reindeer hooked to the sleigh, but here I am. I just wish gifts came pre-wrapped. One display model to look at, the rest neatly dressed for under the tree complete with a bow on top. That would make things much easier. Present wrapping has to be right up there with, well, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Maybe next year I'll start in like July and get done early—yeah right!
A beautiful blanket of snow provided a perfect backdrop this past week for all the holiday cheer. The scenery of the West Branch Valley never gets old and I always want snow for Christmas. The Arctic chill made us all remember what winter is all about after taking a year off. The clear cold nights provide some of the best views of the moon as it converses the sky. There have also been brilliant sunrises as Mother Nature's hues glisten from the new fallen snow.
Whether you're finishing Santa's work or just out and about, take the time to look around and enjoy the celebration of the season. There seems to be an unbelievable amount of Christmas spirit this year. Lights, decorations and events to warm your heart—no matter how cold it is. Make sure you take that annual trip over to Candy Cane Lane; the folks there have done an exceptional job this year.
A tip of the Santa hat to auctioneer Mike Roan and all those participating in this year's Salvation Army Festival of Trees. The event raised over $14,000 to help our fellow neighbors. Thanks to all who attended and purchased the 42 trees. Our Webb Weekly tree brought almost $900, which makes me very proud of all the restaurateurs and my staff for their support and efforts.
Another tip of my Santa's hat to everyone who entered our annual Christmas Fun Coloring Contest. Wow! The boys and girls all do a tremendous job. I have never seen so much glitter and creative design. The effort the children put into this can't help but put a smile on your face and get you in the Christmas spirit. So this year I thought I would start a new coloring contest tradition and share this with you, as you can see, the three winners’ masterpieces appear on my page.
A special thanks to my editor Steph and her team of elves for organizing and judging the over 500 entries. They all were done so well I'm glad I didn't have that job. Every child's name who entered, along with the winners and complete rundown of the contest can be found in the pages ahead.
This is a most joyous and special time of year to be a child. Think back to the days when you were growing up. Please take the time to make it special for the children in your life and also help others who made need it. Make sure you pass on the meaning of Christmas to all our young folks. A day of celebration to honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's birth. Through him, and the grace of God, all good is possible.
God Bless America.