December 15, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.

Are my hands growing? Why is the paper smaller? I will let you know!


Well, if you are reading this, then you obviously know things are a changin here at the Press. The paper is now considerably skinnier and it is going to take some getting used to. I am an old school paper guy, who really loves the feel of a wide newspaper in my hands. As you can see, this is not the wide paper that we have always had.

So why the switch? I could sit here and try to buffalo you into thinking it was because a slimmer look is what people have demanded. Or I could tell you that we went skinnier to keep up with the Joneses, most newspapers are this size nowadays. If I told you that, I would be lying to you. If you know me, you know I am not in the business of telling lies. I would rather tell it like it is, even if that means upsetting the apple cart.

"Stop dancing around it. why is it skinnier?" Sorry, there is but one reason for this. Money. Plain and simple. With the cost of newsprint doing nothing but going up, we had to find a way to keep putting the paper out. By switching to this thinner format, it will allow us enough of a savings to still make the paper viable. Believe me folks, no one will miss the old size more than me.

The one positive to come from the size switch, is it has made us aware that we need to branch out. We need to expand what we can offer both the reader and the advertisers. We have some big changes coming on our website, that I think will please both reader and advertiser. I will keep you posted with when it will take place.

If this change in size has offended or turned any readers off, I wholeheartedly apologize. But in this economy, if you have a choice to drive a motor home to work everyday or a small car that gets great gas mileage, the choice is simple.

The one thing I vow to you the reader and advertiser is this. I promise that the integrity and content of the paper will not diminish in the least. What we have here is a fantastic paper that strives each week to bring you local news and stories that you will get nowhere else on Earth. I am darn proud of this paper, and I hope you agree.

If you do not have plans this Christmas and would like a great meal and a little companionship, I have your solution. You are invited to the 22nd annual Community Christmas Dinner on Christmas day. The dinner will be held at the First United Methodist Church on Irene Avenue in Lindstrom (by the Middle School). The dinner is served from noon until 1:15 p.m. and is open to anyone and everyone who would like to share a meal and fellowship. They will even come and get you if you do not have transportaion or if you request, they can deliver a meal to you. They are asking that you make a reservation, so they cook enough food by December 19. Please call 257-4306 between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you think this sounds like a wonderful event that you would like to help with, please give Wendy or Lois a call at 257-8791 or 257-5547.

North Branch School district residents will also have an oppportunity to enjoy a free Chirstmas Day dinner as well. The dinner will be held at the high school at 2 p.m. and will feature a turkey dinner with all the fixings. The meal is put on by the food service contractor who supplies all the school meals.

At our house we have a 12 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. Over the last month or so, we have been urging the kids to form some sort of Christmas wish list.

My daughter and son couldn't be more polarized when it comes to making a list. My daughter immediately heads to the computer and in no time has a list complete with photos in case we don't know what a Justin Bieber tour bus and stage look like (that is a toy I guess). Instead of alphabetizing the list, she puts her priority wishes at the top, to make it easier for Santa of course.

My son who I said earlier is 12, well that is a completely different story. Those of you that have or had a 12 year old boy have probably encountered the same dilemma. I think that 12 is that inbetween age where toys are starting to be "not cool" and clothing is definitely "not cool". What does that leave? Apparently video games. Perfect. Nothing says Christmas like opening your present and then disappearing into your room for the next seven hours. Back when the kids were wild and screaming all the time, that would have sounded great.

Who would have ever thought a girl would be easy to buy for and a boy would be next to impossible. I miss the days when they both were enamored with Barney the talking dinosaur.

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