Christmas morning always was a time of great exhilaration for me and my brothers when we were children. We grew up in a rather humble environment in a blue-class neighborhood in Chicago — my father was a printer and my mother was a waitress — so there wasn't a lot of money flowing through our household. There was plenty of food and decent clothes, but not a lot of extras. I still can remember how they would scrape just to pull together our Little League fees each spring.

Christmas, however, was the exception. My parents must have saved the entire year, but there always was a pile of great stuff under the tree. Of course, that was not something to be taken for granted, so Christmas Eve always was as angst-ridden as the next daybreak was joyous.

The days of tossing and turning in eager anticipation of the mother lode that awaited me on Christmas morning passed long ago. But I still harbor similar feelings to some degree whenever a new year starts. Not everyone shares my enthusiasm. I have a friend who hates New Year's Eve so much — to her it represents change and the unknown, both of which scare her half to death — that she goes to bed by 9 p.m.

Not me. The coming of a new year excites me. I can't wait to see what happens next. It's probably why, when I am reading my favorite author — Robert B. Parker of “Spenser” detective series fame — that I tend to leaf forward a few pages now and again — I just can't stand the suspense.

I think that's what gets journalists out of bed in the morning, just as it causes small boys to bound downstairs on Christmas morn seemingly faster than the laws of nature allow. Looking back over the past 12 months, one realizes that 2005 was a momentous year in the land mobile radio industry: the rebanding of the 800 MHz airwaves finally began, while Congress hammered out a deal, theoretically at least, to clear broadcasters off the 700 MHz band. On a negative note, lawmakers failed to authorize the $250 million in funding for public-safety answering points after passing legislation promising the money late in 2004. Disruptive technologies emerged, and others bogged down, falling victim to prolonged standards battles.

If 2006 is half as eventful as last year proved to be, MRT's writers and editors are going to have a lot of fun chronicling the year's events for you. In the meantime, happy reading and best wishes for the new year.