As the end of the year – another year – approaches, we look forward to holiday time. Not just in terms of the festivities that take place, but also to the quality of time we experience as the “holiday spirit” takes hold of our busy, countdown days. Just five shopping days till Christmas, two days to get things in the mail for guaranteed delivery to Minnesota. Half days, short days, early days, late days. Time stretches and shrinks, all to get things done and still enjoy special time with family, friends and co-workers. The busier we get, the more we try to remember the one thing out of all the duties and distractions that make the Christmas season the most anticipated time of all the holidays of the year. In a way, we prepare for Christmas all year. We work hard week after week without indulging ourselves in communication with distant friends and relatives. The months end without a buildup of anticipation and release in celebration. We don’t share thoughtful gifts with people – the giving that gives us such satisfaction to share. We don’t decorate our houses with lights or catch glimpses of whimsical displays in unexpected places. We don’t rush around with a common sense of purpose – we simply rush through our days keeping to our own schedule, keeping our purpose and destination to ourselves. And during the rest of the year, we don’t partake of the ritualistic entertainment that we enjoy every Christmas – the carol singing, the choral music, and those black-and-white movies that remind us yet again to believe in miracles. But at Christmas time, at the end of a year of timetables, duties and deadlines, we can catch a collective moment in which to reflect as we are suspended for a brief holiday-bracketed week between the year past and the year ahead. What have we accomplished over the past year and what do we anticipate we will achieve in the year to come? Out of the many choices we make there is only one that is really the “right” one. It is the choice that precedes action, the choice to be kind to our fellow earth-dwellers, be they human or animal, to be gentle to our environment, to go easy on our resources and to be conscious of where our actions will eventually wind up. From all of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market staff and volunteers, I want to thank our farmers, our wonderful customers, our business partners and our benevolent City for supporting and sustaining the markets through another year of challenge and reward.Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
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