Editor’s Column: So this is Christmas …

To file under your “ridiculous” column: A popular online and brick-and-mortar store has sold out of a popular item: A bundle of twigs—20 “birchwood” branches tied with brown string—retailing for $42.

Every time I see how much government entities pay consultants to come up with “new” ideas I shake my head and ask myself if I’m in the wrong business. This “bundle of twigs” thing really has me wondering. Maybe we’re all trying too hard. Several years ago my husband met someone who sells tumbleweeds online. Real tumbleweeds, boxed up and mailed to folks who are willing to pay $25-$50 on average for a dead weed with no mind-altering capabilities, just decorative purposes. A man and his money are soon parted?

Here’s the real kicker: Whoever is selling these bundles of twigs “sold out.” Were there no more twigs to be found? For a fraction of that $42 I’d be willing to go gather some twigs from my yard, how about you?

On another note, if you get a bundle of twigs for Christmas, is that akin to the “bundle of switches” children used to be threatened with for bad behavior?

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I’ve purposefully avoided Christmas music this season, but this 1971 John Lennon refrain keeps coming to mind: “So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun.”

Christmas really does mark the end of our year, as the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a kind of limbo between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It can be—if we’ll accept the challenge—a week of reflection and a time to consider what we want to make of ourselves in the year ahead. 

As we approach this calendar limbo, let’s look back on the year past. What do you regret? What do you wish you’d done differently? What are you proud of? What do you wish you’d done more of? Those are all good questions to ask as we peer into the murky fog of the future. They’re questions, when answered ahead of time, that can influence our future choices in a positive way. If you regret always eating that last donut, this is a good time to decide to make some changes in the way you approach the last donut.

Unfortunately, the flurry of Christmas festivities and end-of-year scrambling does not lend itself to moments of quiet introspection. But taking that time might make the difference in having a better, or at least a more satisfying, year ahead.

Whatever you’ve endured in 2018, or whatever success you’ve enjoyed, I encourage you to take an hour or two in the next week or so for some reflection and consideration. Where do you want to be next year at this time? Better yet, WHO do you want to be?

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As we’re planning for 2019, one of the things we’re considering is adding newspaper-sponsored events throughout the year. We’ve got a few ideas on the board, but we’re looking for some additional input. If the newspaper were to sponsor an informational, or entertaining, event, what would you be interested in attending, and how would you support that endeavor?

Additionally, what kinds of special sections would you like to see us publish in 2019? We’re already planning to continue the Range Call section. We’ll be adding pull-out graduation sections for our local high schools and starting a special pull-out section  after the county fair with fair photos, results and stories. Any other special sections you’d like to see?

As I’ve written before, this isn’t “our” paper. This is your paper. Suggestions are welcome, and will be considered and examined, and addressed to the best of our ability.

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Speaking of the “best of our ability,” I would like to extend an apology to our readers. I’m painfully aware that I’ve been “off my game” since my son’s death in October. I’d like to thank you all for your patience, and for your continued hugs and thoughts and prayers as we muddle our our way through grief.

Additionally, I’d like to thank our incredible staff, our faithful part-timers and our freelancers who have held us up in prayer, gone above and beyond our requests and expectations, and excused a heck of a lot of bad language coming out of the news office during the last few months.

And a special thanks to my daughter, who has been working long nights and weekends in the fray of early holiday deadlines and getting the winter edition of Adventure Colorado ready for press (it will be coming your way in a few weeks), and thanks to my husband, who has made it possible for us to work together—which has been a form of therapy in and of itself—while he supervises the grandkids, among all the other tasks he accomplishes every day. Thank you, each and every one.

Merry Christmas. There’s always something for which to be grateful.

By NIKI TURNER | niki@ht1885.com

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