Publisher's Note

It’s the Little Things…

The weather is getting chilly…it’s time once again to break out the decorations and get in the holiday spirit. In today’s “go-go-go” world, it’s so easy for the little things to get lost in the nonstop rush of activities—making it even more important to take a step back from the daily grind and enjoy the close fellowship of friends and family.

The last few years have been hard for many, but we’ve remained resilient in the face of tough times. The Peoria area is a very giving community, and each November for the last 35 years, we have come together at the annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon to acknowledge all of the reasons we have to be thankful. And that is a tradition worth celebrating.

It’s not as easy as it once was to sustain a holiday tradition. With the demands on our time and family members often separated by distance, it can be difficult to keep up for more than a few years. But these are the simple things to savor—and the memories that you will come back to again and again.

It seems that the tree is quite the hub for creating priceless holiday memories. “My first Christmas tree memory involves my mother crying,” begins Kaylyn Kuzniar’s article. I have to admit that my own family’s tree episodes do not always turn out as planned—just getting it to stand up straight in the stand can be quite the task! But Kaylyn’s vivid description of her childhood attempt to stop the Grinch from stuffing her family’s tree into his oversized bag—catching him “green-handed”—made me laugh out loud. It’s the perfect example of how a memory can bring a smile to your face years later.

With emails, text messages, Facebook and all the other means of electronic communication, the handwritten letter has become practically obsolete. So when I do receive a personal note or a handmade card written with patience, love and great care, it’s much appreciated—and quite memorable. In this issue, we take a look at the art of calligraphy, a treasure quite unlike the text message. My handwriting is atrocious, so I doubt I will be taking classes anytime soon, but it’s something to consider as you get creative this holiday season.

Each year when I unpack my Christmas Nativity set, I find the glued-on head of one of the three ceramic Wise Men—a casualty of my sons’ horseplay in the house. Twenty years later, the incident still makes me smile. They say it’s the little things in life that matter most.

As soon as the tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday CDs will begin to play. While the faces, places and times may change, there are some traditions that hold it all together. Last year, I prayed that our family dog would make it through the holiday season to see my daughter one last time. This year, I will hang his little jingle-bell collar on the tree in his honor—a new family tradition and a mountain of memories.

Happy holidays to you and your loved ones! a&s