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Tue, June 18

Column: Let's look foward to a new year, new beginning

By now, the wrapping paper has been ripped apart, the beautiful dinner devoured, thankfully the endless baking, cooking and eating is starting to wind down, and even the tree is looking a bit lopsided. Time for a new year! But oh, what a fabulous holiday season it has been, with families gathering, church bells ringing, people singing and all manner of decorations gracing our lives.

I do have a few complaints. I bought my grandbaby girls some dolls and the packaging of toys is ridiculous! The dolls are wired into their cardboard boxes so firmly that no scissors can break them free! Practically takes the "jaws of life" to get the dolls out of their boxes! Oh, and boys trucks and action figures aren't any easier. Razor blades, exacto knives, hemostats and pliers are the tools needed to just give the kids a gift!

Let's not stop with toys. I know that during Christmas we should all be truthful. But, whenever I see on a food package the words written, "Tear Here," it is nothing but a big, fat lie! Just opening stuff up has become a Herculean task requiring my husband Doug's constant help (and power tools). Of course, I am not complaining. Things could be worse. A lady in Prescott emailed me to say that while using the electric mixer to mash her potatoes on Christmas Day, she jerked and the blades got caught in her hair. While she was screaming bloody murder, her son turned off the evil mixer, but only after a big clump of her hair had been pulled out. Ouch! Christmas can be dangerous.

We have a New Year in front of us. How will you celebrate? What do you hope for in 2016? Many of us like to watch the "Big Ball" drop on Times Square. I am always amazed that 300,000 people from all over the world show up to stand on crowded sidewalks (packed like sardines) to watch it. Or maybe you can see the "Boot Drop" in Prescott, our own Times Square version of how to have fun, Arizona style. More and more folks just like to stay at home, secure in the knowledge that we are safe to celebrate in our pajamas and a new beginning is right round the corner.

It's a Wonderful Life! Yes, a new year is upon us, so it is nice to reflect on how our past year has shaped up. Some of us lost loved ones, gained new family members, had babies, got new jobs, retired, moved, vacationed, became ill, healed, got married, divorced, laughed, danced and cried. Lots of things happen in one year!

Every now and then, we might wish we had "done more" over the past year, maybe done more in our lives. Holidays seem to punctuate this feeling of "What's it all about?" The classic movie, "It's A Wonderful Life," shows that each of us makes a difference. Maybe we wanted to travel more, have more adventures, do something "important and exciting" instead of the ordinary and mundane. Fame and status may evade us. Wealth might have to be measured in ways that do not include money. Happiness is not found in a suitcase but in the family and friends close to home. In the movie, George's guardian angel showed him what the world would have been like if George had never been born. And in those moments, George realized how many people he had helped and touched. Maybe that's why we consider this movie one of the best of all time. Humility, integrity and devotion were the qualities to emulate. Celebrity and wealth didn't matter.

In a world of chaos, it is good to know how much we cared for others, donated to charities, gave of our time, effort, love, and money to those in need. It may not be a perfect world, but the spirit of the holidays makes it about as good as it ever will get. So before all the hoopla of the season passes by, soak in the warm glow of all the achievements of the year past, looking ahead to all that is possible. A brand new beginning is fast approaching, and with it, come all the chances of having a wonderful year.

Happy New Year!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at


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