No one would argue that 2009 has been rough for some, or most, of us. With the economy suffering throughout the year it has affected almost all of us at one time or another through in a number of different ways. But with the holiday season and the New Year upon us it is time to remember the good from the past year and get ready for what hopefully will be a better year in 2010.

With Christmas just hours away, many of us will try to put the past few months behind us for a day and enjoy the company of family and friends as we celebrate the birth of Christ. It could be tough for some of us as they will not experience Christmas' they have in the past due to a little less cash to spend this holiday season. That's where we can use family and friends to help us forget the past few months and look to possibly brighter days ahead.

Every new year brings different challenges to everyone. How we handle these challenges is what is important to succeeding and moving on to face the next challenge. Just the other day a gentleman was talking about how finances were tight after a traffic accident left him unable to work due to his injuries from the accident. He expressed deep concern about the families inability to provide a memorable Christmas for their children as money was tight and what little money they were getting was going to pay bills that were backing up. Still he held out hope that everything would work out for his family some how in the upcoming year.

That's what the Christmas season is all about - hope. Despite setbacks or gains of any nature we can keep battling, or working hard, to make the best of any situation and move on. It may not be any easy road to travel, but it can happen if you keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Already there is a glimmer of hope for some as Whirlpool will reopen the W.C. Wood plant in mid-January. Although Whirlpool's agenda for the shutdown plant is relative unknown at this point there will be some jobs coming back to the county. This may be the break some of us need as we head into the new year. Although they do not plan a complete recall of the laid off workers any glimmer of hope for the number of people they will employ can help make the next few days something to look forward to.

So as 2009 comes to a close and 2010 starts we need to take a look at what has happened in the past 12 months and count our blessing for what we have and what we will be looking for in the next year.