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Ark Valley Voice will be off duty today, December 24, Christmas Eve, allowing the AVV Crew to spend this holiday weekend with their families.

This is the season of light — and wind, and cold, and hopefully snow. Winter began on December 21 and a powerful winter storm has raised havoc. But Hanukkah and Christmas and New Years’ celebrations go on blizzard or no, power or none at all (and afterwards comes skiing!)

This year the Crew of Ark Valley Voice wishes you and yours the very best of the season — sent with our gratitude for your support and your belief in the power of fact-based journalism to sustain the foundations of democracy.

As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted in his speech to the United States Congress on Wednesday evening, thanking us Americans for our unwavering support of their fledging democracy — they are fighting on behalf of freedom for all of us. Even as Russian bombs continue to knock out their power and terrorize civilians — the Ukrainian people will still gather for Christmas in the cold and dark underground train shelters, with their unquenchable spirits providing a light.

In the words of the Robbie Williams song, “You can’t stop Christmas.”

Our wish this year — for the snow to fall and the bombs to stop falling.

If you are so inclined to help, a small, 100 percent tax-deductible donation to the work of AVV (using Zelensky’s words about American support of the Ukrainians “your support is not an expense — it is an investment”) would shed your light on our work.

Featured image: Hopes for snow from Christmas trees deep in a mountain forest. Image by University of Wisconsin Professor (and longtime caricature artist) Dan Wiltrout.