Newspaper offices are not, by their nature and overall purpose, given wholly to aesthetic excess. They are, unlike the occasionally frantic pace of those who work within them, fairly calm in their approach to design, and a look around the offices of the Chester County Press will support the claim. It's the standard stuff of modern media: work stations, computers and assignment boards. Five white walls of the middle floor are used to post up proofs of the weekly Press, seven magazines and various other publications that we write, design, print and distribute each year. 

Look more closely, however, and you will find, most especially at this time of the year, a place that looks more like your own home. There is an assortment of holiday cookies, muffins, cakes and other such foodstuffs for the calorie-conscious rimming around the company sink, rich and sweet enough to merit the juggling of dates when it comes to New Year's resolutions. Tacked to boards are holiday greetings cards from our friends and neighbors, and we welcome the casual drop-off of Thank-You gifts from the many businesses and companies we work with every year. Most importantly, however, sharing office walls and desk space with notes from political meetings, summaries of sporting events and school board gatherings, as well as dates and deadlines, are photographs of our families. They are of our parents, our siblings, our children, our friends and yes, even our pets.

The newspaper industry is not a place that easily lends itself to hugs and glad tidings. Those who enter this business, whether they be publishers, editors, writers, designers or production staff, don't get into it for back slaps and applause, and the constant tick of the deadline clock often demands that we be creative at a moment's notice. Our editorial content is like a mirror held up to the place where we all live; sometimes we get to cover stories about wonderful things happening in southern Chester County, like tree lightings and winning touchdowns and young children performing selfless acts to help the world, but sometimes we cover stories that speak of a darker side, like drug addiction, murder and fatalities.

Like you, the measure of our temperament often rides on circumstances, on timing, on the luck of the draw. Like you, we have a job to do. Like you, in the spinning treadmill of a profession that's based on assignments and results, it is rare for any of us to think of ourselves as a family, but in the spirit of the season, we remove ourselves from our desks and acknowledge it. So, from the family of the Chester County Press to yours, we wish you the happiest of holiday seasons, and a very healthy new year to come.