We hear or read the words every year around this time.
Sometimes in their original, the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2.
Or in the paraphrasing of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
And those in certain generations might think first of the lisping voice of Linus, whose monologue lent such a heart-warming conclusion to the Peanuts Christmas special.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill to men."
Sadly, of course, peace does not exist throughout Earth.
And goodwill is not everywhere in abundance.
And so this Christmas, while we watch children rip wrapping paper, and
indulge in feasts with family all around, and maybe toss a few
snowballs, we ought to remember that some of our fellow Baker County
residents will celebrate the holiday in much less pleasant
The local Oregon National Guard unit arrived in Iraq just a few weeks ago for its second combat tour.
And others who belong to a different branch of the military and who
also have ties to Baker County are serving today in Iraq or Afghanistan.
We hope each of them has a chance to feel some small spark of the
Christmas spirit, whether it's through a brief telephone call with
loved ones, or just a short break to share with their comrades a box of
Christmas cookies decorated by a daughter or son.
But more than that we hope that every one is safe and healthy today, and that all will return to us soon.
Those tearful reunions, whether they happen during the heat of summer
or the chill of December, represent the true meaning of Christmas.