Happy Holidays from the Town Crier staff: Grace, Rusty, Juli, Jake, Jan, Cid, James, Marshall, Shane, Sandy, Halie, J.P. & Monk. (Not pictured Wayne) Photo by Ann Castillo

As we quickly approach the end of 2011, the Town Crier’s 65th year and the centennial of our founder, Emax, Ernie Maxwell, I wish to give you, our faithful readers, the gift of another Emax column. Below are his thoughts from Dec. 22, 1961.

Sometimes the commerce of Christmas time overwhelms the truly important values of the occassion, and it may be that there are among us many who have only a faint notion of what all the celebration is about.

Emax cartoon published Dec. 22, 1961. Town Crier file
We create an artificial situation which glitters for a moment, then it’s on to the next celebration with a different variety of decorations.

Yet, for those of us who dwell in the forest, Christmas holds greater meaning. We share some of the feeling for evergreens of primitive people, who looked upon the fragrant foliage in the dead of winter as a sign of hope. It meant new life with the coming of spring.

We have noted through the years that old timers here tend to observe Christmas here in a quiet fashion. We found one mountaineer near our cabin years ago who spent the day simply strolling through the woods, enjoying the smells, sounds and sights of nature.

Our own Christmas has become less strenuous as we seek the company of congenial friends and neighbors. The number of gifts on the tree is of minor importance, compared to the warmth of fellowship.

However, we are as happy as anyone that the holidays bring forth so much light. It makes no difference to us whether it’s electric, gas or candle. We do enjoy the lightness of Christmas.

Lights not only illuminate but shed warmth. The main street of every city or village seems friendlier when decorated with strings of lights. The world could use many more strings, stretching into every dark corner where people live in fear.

Extra light is always appreciated, and it is for this reason that we are particularly fond of snowplows. Operating on wintery nights, these mechanical St. Bernards are a welcome sight with their beams and running lights. They are like mobile Christmas trees.

Therefore, as we wish everyone a warm and enlightened Christmas, we pay particular tribute to the crewmen who not only clear our routes but cheer us wih glowing light.

– Emax

In closing this holiday column, we wish all our readers, web viewers, friends, neighbors and everyone else a Merry Christmas.

May glad tidings and new hopes fill your thoughts and plans for 2012.

And think about Emax’s view of light in this forest, when you read the “County Corner” story about “Light pollution” or as the county fondly describes it, “Light trespass.”

From Grace, James, Cid, Halie, Julie, Marshall, Shane and Sandy.

“Peace and grace, today and tomorrow.”