Itâ€™s Christmas Eve, and we have much to be thankful for.
We live in a country where we can speak freely. Where we have rights guaranteed to us, and protected by those we can trust. Where economic opportunities surround us.
As they say, itâ€™s not perfect, but itâ€™s better than anywhere else.
Here in Central Connecticut, we have beautiful summer days and crisp winter nights, with beaches and mountains, green forests and open fields. Add lakes, rivers and streams, all within an hour of anywhere.
Thereâ€™s plenty of culture, too. Itâ€™s hard to count the number of museums and attractions right here, from the New Britain Museum of American Art to the Imagine Nation Museum and the Watch and Clock Museum. Theater and music? Thereâ€™s always a show going on, in the high schools or at the Hole in the Wall or the Repertory.
How about food? Very few areas of our size have the diversity we do. The best Polish (we can think of a half-dozen special places, and hundreds of people that can show you how to make it yourself), German (say East Side) and Hispanic (Criolissimo stands out). Going out? Weâ€™ve got apples, balloons, waterfalls and main streets celebrated every summer and fall
And nice and generous people of all kinds, the latest of five generations who grew up here to those who just got here. Black and white, Hispanic and Asian, from darn near every country in the world - probably a little weighted to Poland and Puerto Rico, weâ€™d guess.
Opportunities to better ourselves abound, from pre-schools to our public grammar and high schools, technical schools (Bristol Tech, Goodwin Tech) and colleges and universities (Tunxis, Central Connecticut).
And we take care of the less fortunate, too. Although we could always do more - and most of us wish we could - thereâ€™s health care, soup kitchens, shelters and social programs, staffed by volunteers and dedicated professionals. (By the way, thanks to all of you who contributed to the Warm the Children campaign!)
For the kids, we have Ys and Boys and Girls Clubs filled with adults who truly love working with children, making them laugh and helping them learn.
Most importantly, we have Christ. He might not have been born exactly on Dec. 25, but he came to bring the love of God to us. No gift could be better.
Merry Christmas, one and all.