You know the saying, these are the best of times and the worst of times.  We see the excitement in families throughout the Treasure Valley as we get ready to celebrate Christmas.    Whether it's Santa bringing us gifts or loved ones returning home, it's a great time of year.  But what about those who aren't coming home?  For me Christmas is bitter sweet.  I look forward to attending midnight mass and thinking of my grandmothers.  How they would look forward to cooking and gift giving.  I also miss their hugs and unconditional love.  I feel closer to them and to God as I'm driving home because they're with me.  I think of my best friend Phil who died many years ago at the prime of his life.  We lost a great person that day.  I could only imagine what hills he would've conquered had he lived.    He's in a better place as I remind myself smiling.

The holidays are a tough time for folks who have lost loved ones.  I think and pray for the Eagle Fire Fighter and Political Activist who just died.  What will their families'

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Christmas be like?  We never know until we ask, so please look out for friends, family members and co-workers who maybe struggling during this time of year.

Don't forget Pastor Saeed who will spend his 2nd Christmas away from his family here.  Christmas alone is tough, but indescribable in an Iranian Prison.  I admire his wife Naghmeh who continues to raise prayers and awareness while still being a Mom.  Let us not forget to mention the Bergdahls who await the return of their son Bowe.  I wonder what Christmas in Hailey will be like this year?  I know what both families want for Christmas.

Please keep all those who are hurting in mind while your complying your Christmas list.  To give, is truly the best gift we'll get during Christmas.