Welcome back. It’s that time of year again, the ass end, where there’s little left to do but wish everybody better luck next time, hold our breath, and hope.

Merry Christmas.

If the culture in which we live has taught us anything about holiday funks, it’s that the best way out is with a credit card. We’re not sure we buy that—pun apologetically intended—but the giving impulse, however commercially perverted, is one we like. Alas, we’re broke. A lot of people, through most of history, have been broke too. We suspect that popular demand is why good wishes are still hanging on as viable, if cheap, substitutes for the season’s more typical mass consumption and redistribution of digital cameras, cellular phones, perfume and jewelry.

Good wishes are about all we’ve got left. So let’s distribute a few.

For the city, we wish for a solution to the West Broadway impasse. If we’re this sick of writing about the perpetually micro-incremental progress on Missoula’s most contentious roadway—way to knock off Malfunction Junction!—just imagine how sick city planners must be of continually bouncing back to the drawing board. Not to mention how sick nearby businesses are of watching customers drive past, too confused, scared or otherwise uncertain to make a turn. Never mind how sick it makes everyone in town every time another pedestrian is struck down. Hell if we have the answer, but here’s hoping the coming year uncovers one.

For Jon Tester, on whose back so many fresh hopes ride, we wish courage and steadfastness. There’s a good chance he’s already got these gifts, which is why we elected him, but from what we hear of D.C., you can never have too much courage or steadfastness. Be well, Jon. And do well.

For Conrad Burns we wish a happy and healthy retirement. Truth be told, we’ve been wishing for that a long time.

For our columnist Molly Ivins, who’s been absent from these pages recently, we hope for a speedy recovery from the cancer treatment that’s had her laid low.

And for the guy who wrote us a letter this week deriding the unbounded hypocrisy of liberals who celebrate Christmas with anything other than idol worship, we wish for a friendly neighbor—preferably liberal, but any stripe will do—to drop by Christmas morning with a plate of fudge, or an invitation to dinner, or even just a simple card of greeting and good will. In this season of giving, here’s hoping everybody gets at least that.

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