I was going about my merry way yesterday, getting a drink from my favorite fast food establishment, while my mind was wandering about all the last minute gift ideas and when I was going to find time to get them. I was so deep in thought that I didn't even realize what was happening around me. It wasn't until I noticed a man, who must have been an undercover police officer, wearing a bullet proof vest, that I realized something wasn't right. It's sad but the first thing I noticed odd about him was a large gun he was carrying, and after a few minutes, the place was swarming. Our law enforcement officers were going into a foot chase, and as I saw one of them disappear into the neighborhood, I realized just how fragile every second is. We must always be aware of our surroundings.

This is what scared me:

1. I was sitting alone in my unlocked car and I didn't notice there was a man walking towards my car with a large weapon, until he was right next to me. Thankfully, he was a police officer.

2. This man ran into this area with no one behind him, chasing someone on foot. I instantly thought of his family and how sad it is that this man is running towards danger, just to make a living and keep our town safe.

3. I had apparently arrived just after something had happened, but it took several officers arriving before I realized that maybe I should just head on out of there.

It's Christmas. We are all focused on the joy and love that we all bring to each other and our fellow mankind. We are celebrating the birth of our savior and looking forward to all the good times and food that we will be sharing with each other in a few short days.

But don't forget to be safe. Don't forget to be careful and NEVER let your guard down. Because something tragic happening around the holidays is something no family wants to experience, and the few that do, fully recover from.

I wish you a joyous, merry and SAFE holiday!