It's only a few days before Christmas: gifts are wrapped under the tree, cookies are baked and many miles have been traveled to see friends and family.

There's something magical about this time of year, and it's not just the sugar and carbs, free stuff and well-known songs. There's an instinct to slow down just a little bit, give people a little bit more grace and have a little more joy. It's one of the rare moments when we have the opportunity to really prioritize our time and resources.

That instinct is one that could serve us well all year long. There are some contentious topics coming up in Norman: a potential stormwater utility fee, a transportation bond, four contested city elections, just to name a few. Let's inject patience, grace and joy into those discussions.

We also recognize that the Christmas season can be a difficult one for many people: family relationships can be strained, the steady drumbeat of parties and events can be exhausting, and buying presents for friends and loved ones can be financially straining.

If that's you, we hope you find the strength you need for this time of year. Don't hesitate to ask those whom you love and trust for help: you are loved and valued.

Merry Christmas to all. We hope you're able to spend the holidays with people you love and enter 2019 refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the new year.

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