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People’s Column

A battle over

‘Merry Christmas’

Editor, OBSERVER:

The “war on Christmas” is not a figment of the imagination. It’s a real battle for the soul of America. When we say “Merry Christmas,” we’re not just uttering a holiday greeting; we’re affirming our heritage, our culture, and our faith. This isn’t about excluding others; it’s about preserving a fundamental aspect of our national identity.

This isn’t just a war on Christmas; it’s a war on the traditional American way of life. It’s a war against the principles of freedom of expression and religious liberty.

So, I say this: Stand firm. When you say ‘Merry Christmas’, you’re not just celebrating a holiday; you’re taking a stand for your freedom, your heritage, and your rights.

The “war on Christmas” is a battle we cannot afford to lose. It’s a fight for the heart and soul of America, for the right to celebrate our traditions and beliefs without fear or apology. Let’s stand united in this fight, proud of our heritage and unwavering in our commitment to preserve it.

God bless America, and Merry Christmas to all!

RICHARD LANCASTER,

Westfield

Gambling adds

to holiday worries

Editor, OBSERVER:

During the holidays we often have social gatherings, rituals, and happy memories. You may set certain expectations for the holidays that unintentionally leads to anxiety. Finances may be tight, or you may be worried about seeing family members. This may result in you using gambling to escape those problems.

If you are gambling to cope with the stress of the holiday season or gambling to try to make extra cash for the holidays, it may be time to sit down and evaluate your gambling.

If you think gambling is negatively affecting your life, you may notice some of the warning signs in yourself or a loved one. Gambling can be easy to hide from your family and friends, but the stress and anxiety of hiding can take a toll on you, have you experienced:

≤ Gambling with increased amounts of money to get to the desired level of excitement.

≤ Becoming restless and irritable when you try and cut back on your gambling.

≤ Thinking about gambling all the time

≤ Planning for the next time you gamble or thinking about ways to get money to gamble.

≤ Gambling when you are feeling stressed and anxious.

Recognizing these warning signs can be the first step in reaching out for support. If gambling is adding to your holiday stress, there is help available.

The Western New York Problem Gambling Resource Center is here to help. Visit NYProblemGamblingHELP.org to be connected to the resource center closest to you. Do not let the stress of your gambling ruin your holiday season. Reach out today and be one step closer to a healthy holiday season.

JEFFREY WIERZBICKI,

Western New York and Finger Lakes Problem Gambling Resource Center

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