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Dear readers,

Between the constant gift advertising, the bright lights around the neighborhood, uplifting music on the radio stations and the uncountable number of cookies sitting on the counter, the holiday season is definitely here. It’s hard to believe that this wonderful time of year is already among us. For me, nothing excites me more than having my siblings home from college, savoring the snow on the ground and spending a couple weeks relaxing with loved ones.

While the holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends and be grateful for what we have, this year especially, I’m reminded not to take anything for granted. After hearing about the destructive typhoon, Haiyan, that hit the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people, my viewpoint of the holiday season has changed immensely.

While the holidays should be an enjoyable season, celebrating the year that has passed and the year to come, it discomforts me to think of the Philippine people who will spend this supposedly wonderful time of year maybe without a family, food, or shelter. To some of us, this news may just be another story on which we hear Brian Williams reporting while we’re sitting in our cozy home with our family near, watching the evening news. However, for myself, and I hope other Arlingtonians as well, I hope this catastrophe will open our eyes in seeing just how privileged we are; nothing—from the community in which we live, to the education we receive, to the warm meal awaiting us each night—should be taken for granted.

So maybe instead of worrying so much about receiving the latest product on the market or deciding among which of the many holiday parties to attend, we can devote extra time to a loved one, help out a stranger, or, on a larger level, support the relief efforts in the Philippines. As generic as it sounds, the holidays aren’t all about consumerism. So let’s make something more out of this wonderful time of year.

With that, I’m making it my goal to further invest in relationships with loved ones, thank those who provide me with things that I sometimes take for granted, and, above all, be appreciative for everything I have. After all, we should all be fortunate to live in a community such as Upper Arlington. Happy holidays!

Grace Moody

Arlingtonian Editor-in-Chief