We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Young and old alike, we all know Christmas comes but once a year. And before too much longer, jolly old St. Nick, his reindeer and his present-laden sleigh will be skidding noisily across rooftops all around Lassen County as the little ones slumber quietly with their secret wishes, delightful dreams and expectations of what the new Christmas morning will bring.

For those who want to pause from their merriment for a moment and follow Santa’s progress in Lassen County on Christmas Eve, go to our website, lassennews.com, and click on the link that takes you to Norad Tracks Santa. You’ll also find games to play, Santa’s favorite music to listen to, stories to read about Santa and other holiday traditions.

Ah yes, we’ve decorated our living rooms with lighted trees, and we gather with our families, loved ones and friends on Christmas morning — just as early as the anxious children can arouse us — to open brightly wrapped gifts and presents wrapped in ribbons — hopefully with crunchy new snow on the ground outside to create that white Christmas the holiday singers always croon about.

And then for the rest of the day, we’ll hear the sounds of new toys and new games and watch the whirly things with awe as we remember the joy and excitement of childhood as the youngsters just play and play and play and play. Later we’ll gather again around the dinner table for a bountiful meal.

It might be easy to think of Christmas simply as a time to exchange gifts and enjoy a special meal, but that would be a mistake. It’s not the bright wrapping paper and ribbons and bows, the lights and the tinsel, all the packages and the cards or even the food served on our festive tables that are important. It’s the love we share with each other — especially our families and our friends — that makes the day. Love is the true bounty of Christmas.

Of course, on this day we should not forget the religious origin of the holiday in the midst of our secular festivities. Christmas really celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, the savior of the world who came to redeem our sins — a time of peace on earth and good will to men. We should remember how the shepherds tending their flocks near Bethlehem received the good news from an angel that a savior had been born and how the magi offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It should be a good Christmas here in Lassen County. A wide variety of events have sparked our holiday spirit.

We’ve had all kinds of opportunities to share with those who are less fortunate to ensure they too have a happy holiday by contributing to any number of charitable organizations, and many of us have risen to the occasion and shared with those who have a need.

Soon all the waiting will be over, and in a few days, the beloved holiday will finally arrive.

In the meantime, as we await that wonderful day, from all of us here at the Lassen County Times, to all of you — our neighbors, our readers and our advertisers — we wish you a very Merry Christmas a Happy New Year and a joyful holiday season. May God reach out bless each and every one of us at this festive time of year.