Christmas spirit means many things to the masses throughout the world. It doesn't need to have snow involved or a guy in a red suit. Presents don't necessarily need to be involved but are a perk.

Christmas is about family and friends to me. Those that are still with us and the ones that live on in our hearts and will never leave.

Some are ones we meet along our road of life that made a difference and some of them are yet to be met Some of those differences may be huge or it could be a smile or a soothing comment to you during a trying time in your life.

Christmas is a time of healing. Reach out to that friend or relative that you haven't spoken to in over a year because you had some minor difference of opinion. Go visit that Grandmother of yours that turns 100 years old in March that has resided in a nursing home the last 2 years. She may not still be inside there due to dementia but her 17 year old great granddaughter will be along and will learn a life lesson from the Christmas visit.

The picture I chose for this Christmas story is not the typical sleigh and snow setting. This picture was taken by my good neighbor Paula Bauer Wilson last summer. The photo depicts what I think Christmas is all about. Love of country and hope. The flags wish our troops in the US and in faraway lands a Merry Christmas and the rainbow signifies hope and what awaits us at the end of our own rainbows.

Thank you Paula for letting me use your photo. Your family depicts what holiday spirit is all about. It goes from your mother and dad "Cletus and Donna" and radiates out to all of their children. Merry Christmas to one and all.