A city that still delivers the small-town vibe is a valuable commodity and much-needed

Anyone who knows me even slightly knows that this is my time of the year.

I'm a Christmas junkie from the word 'go' and carry no hint of embarrassment at how early I listen to Christmas music and delve into decorating my desk and filling my heart with Christmas cheer.

Sure, sounds a little sappy, but I find it to be a natural fit for my personality and my sensibilities.

Heck, here at the Herald I've got my desk decorated, we've got another table with a tree and more decorations, and will have a little Department 56 Christmas Village display up and rolling in a bit that you can view through our front window. The Canby Herald.

It's a special time and I like to treat it as such. I don't think I'm alone.

One of the things that makes me enjoy this time of year so much is that we get a chance to exercise our better angels in terms of humanity.

It's a sad state of affairs, this world we now occupy that seems so consumed with what we don't have or can't get or don't trust. Man's inhumanity to man is a tough thing to watch on a daily basis, but we see it all the time. I find that sad.

Insensitivity and callousness seem more and more the way people live their lives now. Perhaps it's bitterness, perhaps disappointment or perhaps simply to protect themselves emotionally and physically from a world that seems less and less calm and kind.

I just know that we are entering a season that tips the scales back in a more caring direction. And that's appealing to me.

This time of year seems to provide a tonic that our little corner of the world sorely needs. Hearts are lightened and people find that spark of decency within themselves that, at other times, simply isn't there.

I've already witnessed or been party to some "let's make it about them" moments this holiday season and I look forward to more.

But as we turn our attentions to Christmas, let me encourage you to look outside of yourself and towards others. There will be ample opportunity to give of yourself as we move into December. I would encourage you to do it -- generously, with no thought to what you might get back.

Canby got its Christmas season rolling last Friday with the annual parade and tree lighting event. It is a great reminder of how much people really do want this time of year to be something special and memorable.

And that's one of the little magic elements of Canby this time of year -- creating a small-town vibe while the city continues to grow into a decent-sized city. That's not easy to do and for some the reality of what Canby is becoming in size and scope is a tough thing to come to grips with. But the small town feeling in Canby isn't gone and this time of year offers proof of that. In fact, the many volunteers and organizers of the events that occur here over the course of the year are to be congratulated for working so hard to make it feel so cozy -- even when their events grow so large.

That's a gift in itself.

But here we are at Christmas and there are needs to be met and helping hands to extend. If Canby is nothing, it is not responsive to those who need a little holiday cheer.

There will be food drives and clothing drives and chances to make a real and definitive difference in the lives of those around you during this season.

This is your time, it's our time and I hope you will use it well.

Be part of the spirit of Christmas, even if those around you can't get there. It's a special time for special people and that means you.

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