For many people, the holidays are the best time of the year. It’s a season filled with tradition. There’s just something special about the way people feel. In fact, some people carry the spirit of the season with them all the time.

A shining example is one Scripps Ranch woman. In this month’s Spotlight on Scripps Ranch, Lori Pearce introduces us to her mother, Carol, who keeps the holidays in her heart throughout the year. Lori also tells us what it’s been like to celebrate holiday traditions here on the Ranch for 20 years.

Another person who embodies the spirit of the season is Donna Kavanagh. Instead of gifts for her birthday, she asked her family and friends to give her items to donate to the Hidden Valley House women’s shelter. Read more about this story on page 65.

A couple of events will get you into the spirit of the season. First, there’s the Holiday Open House and Ice Cream Social at the Information Center on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4:30 pm. Meet Councilmember Brian Maienschein.

Then, talk about a tradition! This is the 20th Holiday Tree Lighting. It’s on Sunday, Dec. 15. Bring an unwrapped toy for the USMC Toys for Tots program, and let the kids tell Santa what’s on their wish lists. Details are on page 9.

It may be the holiday season, but there is a lot going on in the community this month. Start a new tradition by getting involved. An important meeting you need to know about concerns security at Miramar Lake Dam. It’s on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library. More details are on page 13.

On the same evening and at the same location there will be a community meeting regarding overcrowding at Marshall Middle School. This meeting starts at 6 pm. See page 13 for details.

Yet one more chance to get involved in an important community event–you can help design our new middle school. The first Design Task Force meeting is this month. Look for details on page 13.

An issue the community will face in the new year is the San Vicente Pipeline project. It’s a massive project that could have a big impact on Scripps Ranch. Details are on page 23. The SRCA Newsletter and the SRCA website [] will keep you up-to-date on this important issue.

In case you have been wondering what’s going on with the 4-acre parcel just west of the Scripps Ranch Marketplace, there’s an update on page 23. Earlier this year various community groups recommended a YMCA be built there.

It takes many, many volunteers who give countless hours of their time to make a community as great as Scripps Ranch. These are folks who give all year long. Well, it’s time to thank them for all they do. SRCA Recognition Night is on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Read more about it on page 5, and don’t miss this evening that has become a Scripps Ranch tradition.

If you’re like most people, you will get into the holiday spirit by going to lots of parties and eating lots of food. That usually means packing on the pounds. Walking is one way to keep the weight off. Check out some tips on page 71 that make it easy to start an exercise tradition from Walk2Win, a racewalking club.

Don’t forget to recycle your Christmas tree. It’s now a tradition in the city of San Diego, one started right here in Scripps Ranch 25 years ago. To find out where to take your tree, see page 5.

This time of year can be quite overwhelming with all there is to do. But, I try to remember the real meaning of the season. Besides, of course, my faith, for me it means spending time with family and friends, and enjoying traditions. Here’s to celebrating old traditions and making new ones. From my family to yours, we wish you the most magical of holiday seasons.

Gloria Tran, Editor