Christmas is definitely over! The presents are gone. The wrapping paper is burned. And, the cookies have once again managed to shrink my clothes a size or two.

But, I wonder if Christmas changed the World? Did Peace on Earth happen? Did people truly reflect on the season, or was it just a mad rush to tear into presents?

In our household, we felt a great deal of satisfaction because our entire family was home at one point or another. Almost all of the presents were gratefully received and enjoyed. There were just enough cookies to last through Christmas Day and more than enough games to entertain the whole weekend.

In our state, Wisconsin, Christmas did not bring a conclusion to the problems of gaming contracts, or the scandal of the state election board divesting one candidate of much needed moneys just before the election. In our country, controversy continues concerning the war on terrorism. Countless accusations by those who initially voted for the war on terrorism have hamstrung the process of defending America. Even though I feel safer now than during the 9/11 violence thanks to President Bush’s leadership, the loss of conservatives in Congress guts the war on terror. The war has become a political issue now, and all bets of victory are off.

So, even though we personally feel good about our family in the near future, we are very concerned about our country’s prospects. We hope that the Congress will concentrate on keeping America safe and not just jockey for position for the next election. We hope that the radical Islamists will fail, especially the Iranian nuclear fanatics, and that Israel will continue to man the ramparts in the Middle East. We hope that Russia, China and South Korea will understand that they are the ones who will most suffer if North Korea continues on its nuclear path. We hope that the UN’s new leadership will be an ethical one and correct the problems generated by Kofi Annan and his group of power-hungry misfits.

So, as we approach 2007…….Good Luck and Joy to the World …………….we hope.