Even with Christmas music beginning the day after Thanksgiving, getting into the Christmas spirit hasn't been easy this year.

We have suffered a devastating attack and the loss of American lives in New York, Washington and in Pennsylvania; American military forces are engaged in fighting terrorist Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida in far-off Afghanistan; the economic recession in this country continues; U.S. ag producers are receiving record low prices; and a new farm bill still struggles for breath and the light of day in the U.S. Senate.

In retrospect, the last six months haven't been much to brag or write home about.

However, life must go on. Dwelling on past events does little to change the future. We must look at each day's dawn as a new opportunity to make changes and improvements. In the High Plains area, it is known as grabbing the bull by the horns and making some attitude adjustments.

Life is a series of adjustments. We must identify the not-so-good and improve them. We also must improve on our good works. And in the process, our goals will change. To reach a goal and be satisfied is to become stagnant and then to regress.

This Christmas, let's forget yesterday's problems and celebrate the day for what it is--the birth of Jesus Christ, attending church services, the exchange of gifts and enjoy the companionship of family and friends.

Christmas also symbolizes rebirth of the human spirit. It is an opportunity to reach out to others, or just say a pleasant "Hello" to a passing stranger. It is a time to knock down barriers that have been erected--knowingly or unknowingly. It is a time join together, knowing that the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.

Christmas should be as exciting to adults as it is to a two-year-old. It should be a time of joy and reflection. It should be a time when family members come together to share memories and ambitions.

On Christmas Day, we should feel the weight of the world lifted from our shoulders by the birth of Jesus Christ. And we should renew our faith in His coming.

Merry Christmas everyone! .

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