Editorial : The piercing moment of the year
It's been one of those staggeringly contentious years. There have been others the equal of this one, but until recently not many. Life's been at times a little slushy, a little drizzly, a little snowy, a little too dry, a little too wet, a little frozen, and sometimes simply a mess. Throw in a global economic calamity, and the package seems overwhelming.
It's not been all bad, of course, but we desperate participants would like to euthanize 2008 with a decorative white appliqué and a swelling of good will. Toward that end, we say, thank goodness for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's a characteristic ambition of this season, in such a year as this, to merely want to make it to Christmas.
The good and the bad, the wishes fulfilled and those dashed, the happy and the tragic, all are amplified by Christmas, all touch us somewhere, and the stunning mix carries us deep into the soothing grip of this season and its centuries-old promise of salvation.
Death has diminished our number, called away some of the cheeriest and most inspirational. Illness walloped some of those we depend on and, unavoidably, sparked us to recalculate the head tides which sweep away neighbors and, in contrast, the fair winds most of us nevertheless enjoy.
This is the piercing moment of the year. Forget the glitter and the shopping and overworn imagery. The ancient magic of Christmas will, as it ever has, descale us and expose our lives to life itself.
Although this season especially brings the stew of existence to the boil, newspapers by nature are carried along daily in the puree of human events: births, deaths, tragedies, triumphs, fire, flood, politics, arguments, crabbiness, euphoria. We are exposed to it all. It's the job, and thanks to you, a terrific job to have.
So this Christmas Eve is the moment to remember what's lost, to marvel at our good fortune, and to wish all of you - readers, customers, newsmakers, neighbors, friends, critics - the merriest of Christmases.