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Column: Catch the holiday spirit

December can sure be a stressful month, can't it?

In many workplaces, December means end-of-the-year deadlines to make. But above all that is the often-frenzied nature of the holiday season, which means everything from shopping for presents to getting cards and packages out in time.

At our home we've had a wild month, to be sure. Having a daughter who just turned 8 this past Friday added another dimension to the craziness, as there were birthday presents to buy (and to keep track of, from various family members who shipped them) and a party that was planned. In addition, there was also a dance event out at Pioneer Village early in the month, a piano recital this past week and a church Christmas pageant to prepare for and take part in.

That, of course, is the kind of life many parents with young children lead. But, we -- and no doubt many, many others -- will end up finding it all worth it come Christmas Day.

Both of our kids -- Zachary in particular -- have been giving us a countdown, several times a day, of how many days remain until Christmas. As each Advent calendar door is opened early every morning, the excitement builds just a teensy bit more.

And then, come Tuesday, it will all be over in about 15 minutes or so, after gifts are torn open at warp speed. But the smiles and joy that accompany those moments, along with the hugs, will last far, far longer. That, it can be said, represents the true spirit of this season.

We hope you experience a similar kind of spirit with this holiday.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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