December 20th will mark the day when the days begin to be longer again. The daylight will last longer, little by little. As it is now, by five or earlier, the sinking sun guilds the treetops for a few fleeting moments before darkness envelops our hills and hollows. But then, on a clear night, we are blessed to live in a dark part of the Nation where light pollution does not interfere with our stellar star gazing. It all balances out.

That important list is being checked for the second time. Naughty or nice is the question. It is not subjective. The season is upon us. Wes and Suzie Freeman write that they are still hillbillies, even though they have lived in North Texas for a while now. They have been married 56 years and are, as are many, balancing health issues with doing things they enjoy. For Suzie that is quilting. She is currently working on the last five blocks of the Fool’s Puzzle, which has 32 pieces per block, all hand pieced. Wes builds wooden truck models that are amazingly accurate depictions of rigs you see on the road. Suzie hand-makes her Christmas cards bringing the spirit of the holiday to everyone on her list.

Christmas Spirit Week at our Skyline R-2 School will be a lot of fun for the students as they dress the part through the week. The Christmas Goodie Box sponsored by the Skyline R-2 PTO will be given to the winning ticket holder at the Christmas music program on Thursday evening. It is full of cookies, cocoa, candy canes, chocolate, and other seasonal taste treats. The real treat will be the music program. Children singing Christmas music can melt the humbug out of any grouchy grinch, warming hearts with nostalgia, love, and hopes for world peace and goodwill to everyone. Friday will be the last day of school for a while. When students return to the classroom in the New Year, they will have endured the frenzy and excitement of the holiday and will be ready to knuckle down and buckle down for their studies. Skyline Tigers become solid citizens as they grow up. Champions!

Having a birthday so close to Christmas is an aggravation less troublesome as age accumulates and gratitude for waking up and for making it through another year kicks in. Mary Goolsby and fiddling Herbie Johnston will be happy on the 20th and Chris Dailey and another fine fiddler, Jerry Wagner, celebrate on the 21st. That is also the big day for Skyline fourth grade student, Paige Jonas. Chase Cauthron is a second grader who shares his birthday with his dear old Dad, David, and with Rowdy’s grandmother, Sharon Sikes, up on Cold Springs Road, and with flintknapping archer Butch Stone. Christmas day gives us many reasons to celebrate and among them is the birthday of Joann Anderson, a sweeter smile you will never see. Happy everything to all of you.

Phone calls and emails have come to Champion from many places inquiring about damage and about our safety during Friday’s wave of terrible weather. As we count our own many blessings, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the many who have suffered loss and who will be in the recovery process for years to come. Our hopes are that they will find comfort and solace and relief. Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!