This year I have to admit that I’ve been searching for the motivation to write our annual holiday message. My company had a good year, my family is healthy, but I seem to be even more confused than during this time of year in 2001. While I don’t have to borrow money to gas up my car, sometimes it feels like I do. I worry whether real estate will be the next bubble to burst. I wonder whether I will ever get to visit New Orleans and I feel almost in denial over all the other natural disasters around the globe. It’s been four years since you know when, but it feels like longer since we’ve felt safe. Then there is the war. Putting all differences aside, I think we can all agree that we are deeply affected by the thought that at this moment our young soldiers are out there wondering whether they well ever see their families again.

So this year, I’ve been struggling with where that all leaves me. Can I change the world? No, but maybe in 2006 I can change the way I fit into it. For starters maybe it’s time to stop thinking of freedom as my right and start using it to help others. Freedom is a privilege and most of the residents on this earth can’t even begin to know what it feels like. Our forefathers sacrificed, fought and clawed their way to achieve a dream that my family and I are living out. Speaking of my family, no matter how much I appreciate them I can always appreciate them more. Maybe this year I’ll spend less on presents and spend more time with them, even if it means competing with their cell phones. There is nothing at the mall that I can give them that means more than my time and my love. The people we consider our family are what makes this dysfunctional world bearable. This year I’m going to use my freedom more responsibly to pay more attention to my family, my health, my earth, and my convictions.

I’ll try anyway.

Enjoy this holiday season with the ones you love.