Story last updated at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, December 19, 2002

Take opportunity to appreciate reason for season
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town, residents eyed the snow coming down. Post office lines moved none too swift, as faraway Santas brought in their gifts

Heading into the home stretch of the hectic pre-holiday season, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the stress of getting everything done on time. The pressure we put on ourselves at this time of year often leads to fatigue, unhappiness and a general feeling of malaise at a time when we should feeling much the opposite.

Police and state troopers answered three calls in the last week alone about suicide threats in the Homer area.

At a time when we should be inventorying and taking consolation in all our blessings, and enjoying the company of friends and family, we often lose sight of the reason for the season in a sea of holiday "chores."

For Christians, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of their savior and a reminder of the wonderful gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. In the eight-day Festival of Lights, Jews remember the miracle of Hanukkah. And as the winter solstice nears, we can all take hope in the return of light and the promise of natural rebirth in the spring.

Whatever your personal beliefs, we hope you will take the time during the busy holiday season to reignite the spiritual flame within.