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From The Chief Editor's Desk...

As I write this, we are preparing for "our" Thanksgiving dinner, two days after most Americans have consumed theirs. Since "we" are healthcare workers, one of us would typically work on most holidays. Since I've retired, my wife was "blessed" with being scheduled to work on the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. On Thanksgiving Eve, her Thanksgiving shift was "canceled" due to low hospital census.

Having already made plans for our own Thanksgiving dinner, we proceeded with those plans. After all, the 15+ pound turkey we bought was already in the process of thawing out in the refrigerator. But, it also freed us to join other family members at their Thanksgiving dinner on … well … Thanksgiving Day.

Working in healthcare is a 24/7/365 experience, especially for those who provide bedside care for hospitalized patients. Care has to be provided around the clock. It will/can consume you, if you allow it. Ever since the kids came along, we would always let "the powers that be" know that we would work every other holiday throughout the year, except for Christmas Day. That allows us to be home on Christmas morning, with the kids while they are young. There's little else in life that can even come close to seeing the excitement on a child's face on Christmas morning, and we felt that we owed it to our kids to be there for them at that time.

Switching up the days we celebrate holidays on has become just a routine part of our lives. Before the kids came along, we both volunteered to work for those co-workers who had young children at home, so we've worked our share of holidays. I suspect that as the kids get older, my wife will most likely go back to the same routine of working holidays for those co-workers who have small children at home.

I've always enjoyed the winter holiday season, but never as much as I do as after the kids came along. That magical look on their face, their eyes full of wonderment and amazement, the smiles on their faces … there's nothing else like it. For me, it elevates the joys of the holiday season by a factor of at least ten.

Regardless of your religion or beliefs, the winter holidays are perfect for spending time with friends, family, and others that you care about.

Of course, there are other not-so-pleasant parts of the winter holiday season. The commercialization probably ranks right up there near (or at) the top, and it seems to get worse every year. For some, like myself, it's going to represent a "first" this year. I've never mentioned it in the magazine or on the forum, but I lost my mom in late July. This will be the first Christmas without going to visit her on Christmas morning. My mom went out of her way to make Christmas special for everyone around her, especially her grandchildren. So this year is going to be difficult for all of us, not being able to share and experience that with her.

Even though she will be sorely missed, there has been a silver lining to her passing. Through her illness, we were able to repair a "rift" between myself and other family members. So even though my kids lost their grandmother, they gained aunts, uncles and cousins that they had never met and had never known existed. Despite the loss of their grandmother, the size of their family has grown. And my kids have a very strong sense of family, and family is very important to them. While it has helped fill the void left by their grandmother's passing, there's little that can replace a doting grandmother.


This month's cover image is largely based on an image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay, celebrating the holiday season. We thought the snuggly penguins made a really good non-secular holiday cover image, especially for a Linux magazine.


Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity, continued good health, and happy holidays!

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