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A (nonpolitical) holiday message

December 25, 2007 | 12:01 am

This is just a short holiday message of good cheer to our growing ranks of readers. When we started this bicoastal blog 197 days ago, we said in an opening note that we were looking forward to providing an eclectic mix of political stories telling the tales of our democracy in action and having a dialogue with readers.

Since then, your ranks have grown to many thousands every day. We've published in excess of 1,000 items and received more than 7,000 comments so far. We thank you.

It's not easy keeping up, but we do our best, drawing on the vast, talented resources of The Times' political staff. And the busy time is just about to start.

So like the candidates themselves, we're taking one day off. The complete archives, of course, remain open as always. And the Comments section on each and every item.

May the joy of this season and the promise of a new year reach into the lives of each of you and may we each appreciate the benefits -- and responsibilities -- of our imperfect but operating democracy in action.

See you tomorrow.

-- Andrew and Don