The year is almost over.

For the longest time, it seemed to drag - probably because winter and then spring lasted so long we hardly had any summer.

But with the cold months also come those holidays that, while they chill the body, they warm the heart with family gatherings and friendly get-togethers.

I used to dread the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays because my family was so far away that we could not be together. But over the past few years, one of my daughters, and the son of another daughter, have moved to Crescent City. It is so nice not to be living here alone anymore.

Of course, it was my own fault. I fell in love with Crescent City the first time we lived here, 30 some years ago. Ten years ago, the pull was just too much, and I came back. Of the four states and many towns I've lived in, only one other comes close in my heart, and that is Abilene, Texas. Some of my family still live there, including my newest great-grandson Josiah.

Holidays, especially the more family-oriented ones like these, often result in depression for folks who have lost loved ones. That absence hits all the harder during Christmas. People often feel that no one else understands, and feel more and more alone.

andbull; At the Crescent City United Methodist Church, Pastor Carol provides a grief support meeting on Wednesday evenings. All in need are welcome to attend.

andbull; The Seventh-day Adventist Church on Northcrest is again presenting the seminar, "Depression - The Way Out."

The public is invited to the free introductory DVD presentation at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8. This session will be an overview of the nine-week program (meeting once weekly), so you can decide if this might be something you would find helpful. The initial session will provide a lot of helpful information.

The program will use Dr. Neil Nedley's book and a workbook, and other books will be available. If you wish to have the books, the fee for the program will be $89.

Topics will include how to know if you have depression, how to manage your emotions, staying motivated, coping skills, recognizing and correcting destructive thoughts, and how to best recover and grow after suffering a loss.

Folks who have attended the seminar in the past are welcome to attend subsequent classes free of charge.

Remember when we used to have New Year's Eve services, and the kids would fight to stay awake to see the new year in? That just doesn't seem to happen so much anymore. I have information on one:

andbull; Grace Lutheran on Cooper will have a New Year's Eve Communion service Monday night at 7 p.m.

New Year's resolutions - those promises we make to ourselves, and sometimes others, only to quickly break - often become just a big joke.

The one thing I'd like most of all to see happen is that we all make a point of being more considerate to each other. Smile at that person you are passing on your way in or out of the store. It doesn't cost a thing!

Here's wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email