I’m sure all of us at one time or another have been involved in organizations or groups that have brought a lot of joy to our hearts. This has been the case for me since as I have had the privilege of being part of the group called Christmas Island Style.

By being a part of that organization I’ve had the honor of becoming involved with some of the finest people I’ve ever met during my 25 years here on the island.

I’ve also had the opportunity to see the workings of many wonderful organizations that have done so much for so many. Whether it was Kiwanis, Rotary, all of our wonderful schools, the Knights of Columbus, the Lions Club, the Columbiettes, all of the many churches on the island, the Sons and Daughters of Erin, the Optimist Club, the many dance academies, the Montessori School, the Fire/Rescue Foundation, Bedtime Bundles, the YMCA, the Marco Police Foundation and even the Boy Scouts, to name a few.

Our own city staff, which includes those in parks and recreation, the public works and utility department employees, the men and woman of both the fire-rescue and police departments, along with those in the executive staff, and especially our hands-on city manager who has always been there to help when the need arises.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful support we’ve gotten from all aspects of the business community as we have sought to raise money for the many activities we try to bring to the community. Those businesses range from restaurants, to our wonderful hotels and the variety of other concerns that serve the Marco community.

This is the season for reflecting on our many blessings. Those blessings don’t always come in the form of a present under a tree, but instead by the commitment of a community and its residents to step up and do what is necessary to help one another.

From raising money for those facing financial hardships from illness, to the award of scholarships to help children pursue higher education, to motorcycle rides to provide a joyful Christmas holiday for those in need.

It’s not about the position one holds, or the place an organization has in a parade. It’s not about how circumstances benefit us individually, or the recognition one gets for their deeds. These are all petty in the larger scheme of what makes us a wonderful community to live in.

Instead, it should be about the collective good one can do for all. It is less about how we might benefit personally and instead about the good our deeds can do for the many. It is about doing something what is right, even if no one is looking, or no recognition will be given.

We as a community celebrate this special holiday season, sharing the best of the traditions we have all brought with us from our various small towns and large cities across the American landscape and outside our national borders. It is during this special holiday season that we join together as a wonderful melting pot that has made this nation so strong.

Each year as I walk through the throngs who come to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting or proceed down the street parade route on San Marco I can’t help but feel the positive energy of our community and all of the wonderful people that come out and become part of something that is so special.

From those that tailgate, to families watching their sons and daughters perform in dance, in bands or in choirs that sing like angels we revel in the positive energy we all feel.

Christmas is about hope and the excitement of what great potential lies ahead of us if we just have the courage to move forward for the greater good of all. In that spirit of hope I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

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