Today I put the bow on another year of the Hometown View, the 24th I have done this daily segment in which I share my thoughts and views on a variety of subjects with you.

They are mine and sometimes don’t quite match yours which is fine because I believe it’s okay to agree to disagree as long as it’s done with the understanding that we are different and should respect one another’s opinions.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

It is truly hard to believe that it’s been 12 months since I last shared end of year thoughts with you and that period has been unfortunately filled with more bad times than good, more sorrow than joy and likely more tears than laughter.

2020 has been a historic year for pain and suffering unlike any other that did not include a war or outright depression.  COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on so many leaving family, friends and neighbors to mourn those they have lost.  The financial impact has also been devastating as many businesses have closed and some will never recover. Loss of income at home is forcing more and more families to seek help from food banks and other resources as unemployment just doesn’t cover the needs of many.

Students in all grades and levels have lost out on so much when it comes to education and social engagement and if all of this is not enough you have a political climate that has divided the country even when it comes to wearing a mask.  There’s no way around it. this has been a dreadful year in so many ways.

However if you’re an optimist you have likely found ways to make the best of it and despite challenges we all had moments that put smiles on our faces and gave us reasons to laugh, still the best medicine outside of a vaccine.  Babies were born, couples got married, kids graduated high school and college and people found good jobs.

Heck even the Jets won a football game although in typical fashion that might have screwed-up their future but you get the point.

I have learned as you get older that days, weeks, months and years fly by at an alarming rate and while you can’t stop Father Time each year you get to add another number to your age has in the very end been a pretty good one.  That was never truer than in 2020.

For now I will simply wish you peace and joy throughout the holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and good health in the New Year.  2021 has to be better…doesn’t it?

DAN ZARROW: NJ's Top 10 Weather Stories of 2020