This would be a dark place this time of year if it weren't for the creative and often competitive spirit of homeowners and businesses who work to bring the spirit of the holiday season to light.
The decoration contest winners in area communities either have or will shortly be selected as the holiday season hits high gear with Christmas Eve on Tuesday.
We pause for just a moment to offer congratulations to the winners and say thanks to all who have spent the time, the money and the talent to bring a simple message of Christmas cheer to all who pass by.
There is something about a string of Christmas lights and decorations on a home that makes every dwelling warm, welcoming and festive.
The holiday decorations that sprout around the area and the contests that surround them are some of the best examples of community pride we can see.
If you're so inclined to drive around and view the winners, think about that whole issue of community pride as you do so. Decorations for the holidays are as much about community pride as they are about competition or self-expression. Our neighborhoods, our cities and towns, all look fantastic during this time of year.
That's a kind of community spirit that should live on well beyond the holidays. If we can make our towns into beautiful, inviting places in every respect during the holidays, we can do so when the weather is warm and people are out and about.