I, like many of you, love this time of year.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family gatherings, particularly for those families that are now living far from their roots that are able to make the journey to be together.

But not all families can make that journey in these tough economic times. That is when things like Skype and other Internet video/audio services help shrink the miles.

Then there are those families that are really struggling to make it from one day to the next.

Thankfully, there are some very generous restaurant owners out there that offer free Thanksgiving meals with turkey and all the trimmings to those less fortunate.

While some believe that chasing the almighty buck will solve all their problems, the reality is that a strong family bond and learning to live within our means is what really matters.

While video games are all the rage with Generation X and Generation Y, they might find that there is a lot more fun playing a board game like Monopoly or Snakes & Ladders leads to much more talking around the table with your family while playing the game.

I must admit that I do not own a Xbox, PS3 or any of those other interactive computer and Internet-based games. In fact, I still have my original pong game box that only had one game -- ping-pong!

I guess it is probably considered an antique these days, but it still works.

I love the smell of the turkey cooking in the oven while the family catches up on what each has been doing over the past year and noting how the nieces, nephews and grandchildren have grown.

My wife's family lives some 6,000 miles away from Antioch so getting together with them doesn't occur that often during the holidays. But this year I wanted to give my wife a treat, so we made the journey so that she can enjoy the holidays with her sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and now, grandnieces and grandnephews.

We'll have her family over and be preparing the traditional turkey dinner for them, even though Thanksgiving is not celebrated over here in Scotland.

In fact, it was just after Halloween that Christmas decorations were put up in all the towns and cities, and Christmas music could be heard everywhere.

I think more countries should have a holiday similar to our Thanksgiving. It might help bring more families together since it does not involve the exchange of presents.

I know that the Antioch police department and the City Council are thankful this year that the voters overwhelmingly approved Measure C earlier this month.

While there will be an oversight committee, they will not have any powers as to how this new revenue will be spent since Measure C was a "general tax," leaving how it is spent up to the City Council.

The real "oversight" will come from the public that will expect the Measure C half-cent sales tax revenue to be spent on hiring additional police officers, Community Service Officers and Code Enforcement Officers. And I do believe that the City Council will heed those expectations.

The Antioch Police Department has long held an outstanding reputation throughout the county for solving crimes and for convictions.

For far too long our police officers has not had all the personnel it needed to provide all the services that its residents expect, even for those "minor" crimes that lead to bigger crimes.

So we should all be very thankful that our police force will be significantly improved.

Arne Simonsen is the Antioch City Clerk. He can be contacted at arne@arnesimonsen.com