Thank you all for the kind words on my last year's Christmas article. Here is the one for this year. It does reflect a different mood, mostly because of our aticipated move. Just two words of explaination. The reference to giraffes, there are none in the wild here, it is just a running joke in my column that I started a while back. We do however, have an abundance of rabbits and coyotes and a few deer. Secondly, the mention of Koewler family, they are the owners of the paper that publishes my column, and their son Shaun recently enlisted in the US Navy and went oversees about two weeks ago. Don OUT WICKENBURG WAY (#03-11): By Don Day It’s hard to believe that we are now in another holiday season. Seems as if we just finished recovering from the last one a few weeks ago. Things are going to be a bit different for us this year though. No big family dinners at our house like we usually have. We will be moving soon and so we’ve been packing stuff up in anticipation of that day. Packing includes all but the most basic dining needs, so having a family dinner would mean pulling out the paper plates. We’ve told everybody that we shouldn’t exchange presents this year. The philosophy is that if we get something we can’t use up quickly, it will be just one more thing to pack; besides, we can’t get psyched up for shopping anyway. We allowed one exception for gifts, our grandkids. After all, Santa and the Christmas festivities are for them anyway and we don’t want to cheat them out of even a single moment. We usually put up a large tree right after Thanksgiving and spend two or three days decorating the inside and outside of the house. Not this season. After spending all that energy packing stuff, unpacking anything right now just doesn’t seem right. We’ve done something I never thought we would; buy a four-foot pre-decorated tree. Yeah, take it out of the box, plug it in and you have an instant Christmas tree. Not a hand-decorated seven-footer, but it will do for now. We even had a meeting with all the creatures around our property. We told them there would be no outdoor decorations this year, and once we let them know we were moving, they understood; strange though, before that not one of them noticed the “for sale” sign out front. The giraffes were a bit upset that there would be no lighted icicles on the eves for them to nibble on, but the rabbits offered to do their part and leave decorations all over our yard. I thanked them and told them to please leave their decorations out back… way, way out back. The coyotes suggested that instead of a lighted deer that we ask a few real ones to come pose in our front yard, but I think they had an ulterior motive. The showing of our house to potential buyers is going slow, just like most everything here in Wickenburg. We should have expected that in a town where the Town Council meets in the boardroom of the Procrastinators Club. We have lived here almost five years now and they are still addressing issues that were on the table before we came. A few months ago the electric company bought a parcel on the highway and wanted to divide it so that someone could build a store on the front half while they built their service yard on the back. The Council wanted restrictions so that “someone like Wal-Mart” couldn’t build there. No worries about that, their indifference drove Wal-Mart away years ago. There must be some good coming from thinking this way, but for the life of me, I can’t see what. I guess I get skeptical when I see all the sales tax revenue and jobs going to communities some 35 miles down the highway. Gee, that’s the area where our new house is going to be, what a coincidence. I know for us this will be an unusual holiday season, but we will never lose sight of the real reason for Christmas. No matter how many people try to use the Constitution to take Christ out of Christmas, no matter how much the commercials use Santa Claus as the focal point, just one chorus of Silent Night, Holy Night should be enough to bring these folks back to reality and understand why we celebrate Christmas; it does for us. About the only thing we intend to unpack this year will be the manger scene with the crib as our focal point. That’s the way it should be in spite of what a few others would have us think. I wish all of you the best Christmas season ever, especially Mike, Linda, Kelsey and Shaun Koewler. We should not forget Shaun and all those who are putting themselves in harms way and giving up their Christmas at home in order that we stay safe and have the right to celebrate the holidays the way we choose.