Season is a time for blessings,

Published 11:39 pm Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Christmas season is a time of appreciating blessings — large and small.

On the large end of things — and the “reason for the season” as the somewhat cheesy saying goes — the blessing provided by the birth of God’s son, Jesus, is the first and foremost blessing for which I’m thankful.

Without that one, the other blessings of life wouldn’t matter.

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But beyond that, I have many, many blessings to be thankful for this year.

I’m thankful for my family. I have been blessed with two great parents and a pair of siblings, all of who provided a great childhood upbringing.

This week as I get a chance to visit with them, we’ll almost certainly relive a few of the moments from the past that make up our collective experience.

I’m thankful for football, not that I’m a rabid fan or anything, but without football, I would never have come to Natchez. I met a former Natchez newspaper photographer at a football game while I was a senior in college.

When he decided to leave the newspaper, I think he mentioned my name to Joan Gandy, who convinced me to drive over and meet her.

Fortunately, as I’ve told her since, she was desperate and gave me a chance. Without her help, Lord knows where I’d have wound up.

Like many people, work is a necessary part of my life. In the newspaper business, the work never ends; we have to print a newspaper every day, without fail. But I love it.

I’m blessed that I found a career that I truly enjoy so days at work certainly don’t seem like work.

A big part of what makes working at The Democrat so enjoyable is the people with whom I get to interact.

First, our staff is top notch. I’d put them up against any other newspaper in the country when it comes to working hard and doing their best.

One of them is in our building almost every hour of the day, 365 days a year.

They’re amazingly dedicated, too, and I appreciate what each of them does for our newspaper and our customers.

We’re not perfect, and we certainly make mistakes, but we try to learn from them and not make them again.

Another blessing I’m thankful for this holiday season is you, our readers.

From the faithful readers of our print edition — many of whom have subscribed for decades — to new readers who read us online, each is important to me. I appreciate them all.

This newspaper is also blessed some amazing advertisers, too. We’ve got both long-time advertisers who have counted on the massive readership of our newspaper and Web site to reach their audience like The Markets and new folks such as Heritage Dodge and Bass Pecan. Each of them is a blessing as well.

Finally, I’m blessed to live in a unique corner of the world, a place with a combination of natural beauty and manmade beauty.

From the grandeur of the mighty Mississippi River to the solitude of a forest along the Natchez Trace, nature’s beauty surrounds us.

With each picturesque view of the world that God created, we’re reminded of the million small blessings we experience each day.

And, each of those tiny blessings helps us remember that all of the little blessings wouldn’t be possible without the biggest blessing of all, whose birth we celebrate on Tuesday.

Merry Christmas to each of you.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or