[author]Chris Dobney, Editor[/author]
One of the professional requirements of being a journalist is to have a healthy scepticism. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I took everything everyone I interview says at face value. This job has sharpened my senses and made me question the world around me.
And the bizarre commercial/religious event I will refer to as Xmas naturally lends itself to criticism. Whether it be corporate greed disguised as ‘goodwill’, the schmaltzy re-rendering of everything from songs about snow to shopping-centre santas, or indeed our own seemingly insatiable appetites for stuff, it’s not hard to be cynical about Xmas.
But whether you’re a believer or not (and I’m not) there is one good thing about Xmas. At least for most of us it is a time to stop, to spend some time with friends and family and to enjoy this most remarkable place where we live.
This is a place where for decades now people have chosen to come. Often they have made a sacrifice of career, or income, or distance from family to be here. Not that it is all sacrifice by any means: with the surf, the climate and the wonderful natural environment that we have, why would you want to be anywhere else?
All of these things are important – and all of them are under threat. All of them are worth fighting for, and that is one of the reasons I became a journalist and one of the reasons I am so glad to be a part of the Echo family.
But there is a time, too, to put down your pitchfork, take a deep breath and just enjoy this incredible part of the world we live in.
Above all else, what drew me here, and inspires me every day, are the wonderful people I meet. This is not just another consumerist corner of western civilisation (if indeed that is the right word). At its best, our region is a shining example how the world could be.
Thank you all for being a part of that, and for supporting our fledgling publication. I look forward to it being part of your lives again in 2012.
See you on January 3.