While many of us celebrate the holidays with family and friends, some individuals fall into an inner depression. This pallor of joylessness can be very personal and deep, particularly when family is far away, ties are cut or family simply have passed on.

We are blessed that people have places to go here where they are welcome during the holidays — American Legion’s senior luncheon and Christine Nordella’s free Thursday lunches, courtesy of Fairway Market, beginning this week at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church.

This sense of care in how we treat people mirrors the Idyllwild I love in times of trouble. I know you’ve heard it said so many times that when you face difficulties in life, there is no greater place to be than in Idyllwild.

This summer, the Mountain Fire destroyed our neighbors’ homes and animals. Our town evacuated. The potential disaster more or less crept up on us. We helped each other through it and came to the aid of those in Apple Canyon and May Valley.

Our heroes were those who turned around and offered a place to stay, food, clothing, money and other help, as well as the firefighters who painted “the Mountain red” and gave us back our town.

So many other locals have had other tragedies hit them — such as losing a spouse or suffering medical difficulties — and felt comfort from the selfless residents offering support through friendships, food, chores or whatever was needed.

So, if 2014 will mean harder times for those of us the fire did not touch, we are sure to see Idyllwild at its best. What other town of nearly 4,000 people has more than 120 nonprofits that include strong service organizations specifically to aid and strengthen the community?

In hard times, there is no better place to be than Idyllwild.

Becky Clark, Editor