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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business

The Christmas season is a special time of the year. Only the most cynical Scrooge thinks otherwise.

But, what makes it so special? After all, it is the most stressful of holidays, and according to the experts, the most stressful time of the year. And yet, we find ourselves smiling more often, enjoying the lights, singing along with the holiday music, and even getting a lift from jostling with busy shoppers in crowded stores and malls.

We enjoy children.. which means we let the beautiful child in each of us come to the surface and act out a heritage common to all adults.

We celebrate something and someone greater than ourselves . which means we acknowledge the weaknesses we share with every other human being.

We hang bright lights and open our doors to friends and neighbors . which means we forget whatever petty disputes may have divided us during the year.

In other words, for one glorious season of the year we reject the things that separate us one from another and rejoice in the things that bring us together.

Our likenesses bring joy. Our imagined differences bring distress. No wonder we consider this a special time of year.

A happy child once asked, "Why can't Christmas come every day?" Men of goodwill might ask the same question. There is no reason why the warmth and good feelings of Christmas have to disappear as fast as a drumstick on a child's plate. Ben Franklin observed, "A good conscience is a continual Christmas." If we in America can develop the skill to make Tommy's scooter and Suzy's skates last for years, can't we develop a spiritual force that will keep the spirit of Christmas alive for 364 more days?

This is Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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