I asked myself whether I should stay in the “60 Minutes Andy Rooney” mode of grousing, sniping and complimenting. After all, it is the holiday season and being positive about everything is the usual approach…. but, what the heck… I’ll just keep on being me.

In the spirit of love for my fellow man and woman, the response once again of our community during a crisis keeps restoring my faith. As I write this, one day removed from the insanity of another fire (the not so easy “Easy Fire”), with many more likely to come before we get a grip on what it takes to mitigate this ever-increasing threat, I cannot help but marvel at the brave and unrelenting response and support we receive from first responders and others in our community. Our November issue was dedicated to thanking everyone for their efforts and, sad to say, here we go again.

The holiday season is very much a family affair. Celebrating our love and showing it in small ways is often more important than a big celebration or gift. But before I celebrate, I’ll go back into a bit of grousing and sniping. Recently on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Robin and I visited Ventura Harbor Village. We stopped for lunch at Le Petit Café, one of my favorite dining destinations in Ventura County—genuine French cuisine served by a typically grouchy Frenchman. I love it! We were happy. As we sat at an outdoor table looking at the parade of visitors passing us by, we saw family group after family group who were 100% disconnected from each other. Mom, Dad, Bud, Sis and Grandma too all had their faces and attention glued to their mobile phones. They were there, but they really weren’t  there. They were together, but not together. I could go on and on. However, my parting advice is to ban all mobile devices from your Christmas, Chanukah and New Year’s celebrations. Behave like it is 1985 and not 2019-20. Maybe you all will love each other a bit more.

Happy Holidays!