As Christmas and the New Years Holiday fast approach, it is a time for all to remember family and friends. The holidays serve as a foundation for family to get together where meals and gifts are shared. Society has made Christmas a commercial holiday, but in many minds, as that Christmas song reminds us, "it is the most wonderful time of the year." In my area we are assured of a white Christmas thanks to the cold temperatures and lake effect snow that has hit us with regularity. Shoppers are in panic mode this week as they try to finish the shopping they need to do before Santa's trip around the world. Some never even start shopping until the day before and wander through the stores to get that one special gift for a loved one. It seems like store decorations have been up since Halloween, they did not get an early start now did they? Reports suggest that this holiday season spending has seen a 3% increase. Perhaps that is a sign of an improved economy. I look forward to Christmas morning, when all the children are snuggled up in their beds, waiting for old saint Nick to bring his gifts. Stockings are hung by the chimney with care, waiting to be filled with things other than coal. Most kids feel they are good all year and anxiously await the morning with Cheer. In our house, it is customary to hide the stockings and wait as the children look through the house for their stocking. The gifts under the tree must wait until all the stockings are found. My camera is set ready to take pictures of the smiles that morning and give thanks for what I truly have. A wonderful family is all that anyone can hope for, but best of all are the friends that are dear. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New year!