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We’ve reached that magic point in the year when Santa Barr is expected to make his annual appearance.
He’s supposed to bring those serious and not-so-serious gifts to local leaders, most of whom seem to have a sense of humor and realize that in the Santa business and the newspaper business, there’s no money to bring any gifts these days.
But ole Santa Barr isn’t in the mood this holiday season.
You see, sports editor Mike Farner decides that once a year he will write something remotely creative and out of the box.
And staff writer Stephen Thomas has cornered the market on writing holiday columns that are really much funnier and more pointed that Santa Barr ever dared to be. He also has the luxury of spending more than 20 minutes to compose such a collection of prose.
The problem is that Santa Barr has been left by Publisher Barr space to fill on the editorial page. And at least one or two people might be disappointed if Santa Barr didn’t make an appearance - not to mention the white space that the boss would be less than happy to see.
So what to do? Kind of sounds like a question elected officials and newly-elected officials might be asking themselves this holiday season.
Santa Barr could talk about everyone needing money. You know the elves can make toys and electronic devices but they don’t have printing presses.
Maybe we could purchase some of those newspaper presses that aren’t being used as much and print a little money. Unfortunately, even at the North Pole, that’s illegal. And there’s probably not enough presstime to bail out all those companies who believe they need to be bailed out instead of running businesses in the proper manner.
That’s a mouthful for an old Santa.
Santa Barr would bring down a bag of common sense and honesty for all those who serve the public. But, once again, I don’t think any of the elves have that expertise (or they’d bottle it and go to work for themselves).
The sleigh could be filled with unlimited barrels of oil. Unfortunately, there are plenty of fuel sources - the United States just doesn’t have possession of them.
Maybe Santa could get the Good Witch of the West - I know, different story but effective in this situation - to magically wave her wand and make all media report nothing but good stories. Ratings would plummet and news directors wouldn’t know what to do.
Santa sounds pretty pessimistic this holiday season. But with Rudolph and the team taking Santa for a little ride through the cold, crisp sky, there might be a little hope for 2009.
Maybe that’s Santa’s gift for this Christmas season.
We all have plenty of toys - no matter our age.
Maybe it’s time for a little hope, which is difficult for a person who has been called a realist (well, I called myself a realist while others called me things like a pessimist).
On the annual trip this evening, Santa Barr will bring some non-material gifts to all his fans in Bullitt County.
To the county judge and fiscal court, a sense of financial reasoning and budgeting skills. From going several months ago having worries of not paying the bills, there must be some plans for the rest of this fiscal year and beyond.
To the city leaders, the same ability to deal with financial straits. In the local situation, probably the smaller the city, the less concerns as many have been able to build up at least a small nestegg.
To the planning commission, a sense of reasonableness and compromise to finally get the subdivision restrictions, the storm water regulations and the zoning regulations approved and complete - after what seems like a decade of work.
To the school officials, some balance of panic and calm. The district must move aggressively toward proficiency for 2014 but at the same time know when doing too much, too quick is bad in the long run.
To all law enforcement officials, the ability to provide a safe community in a changing world with the available resources.
To all, Santa brings a sense of hope.
Despite some of the current economic concerns, this is still the best country to be.
In time of need, Bullitt Countians come through each holiday. From the individual food baskets provided by many churches to the hundreds served in Hillview and Shepherdsville to the Christmas meal in Shepherdsville where over 500 will attend to the motorcycle friends with the Toys for Tots and the Hillview Friends, Bullitt County is a caring community.
When things appear to be at the darkest point, that spirit of caring comes through - 365 days a year.
So Santa’s sleigh won’t be filled with the normal gifts this holiday season. His hopes are that the people of Bullitt County won’t give up on their dreams that tomorrow will be better than today.
May you all have a blessed holiday season and may your 2009 be a prosperous one. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.