Belief In What?

The National Christmas Tree, near the White House in Washington, is illuminated during a ceremony attended by President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
Well, we made it to another Christmas. Kids are home from college, relatives are coming in from out of town.

Yes, we scaled back. We're trying to set a tone that mirrors the realities that surround us. But what do we know for sure?

Will our jobs still be around next year? Will things get better before they get worse? Have we reached that stage again where the only thing we have to fear is fear itself?

A little fear isn't a bad thing. It usually accompanies an awareness of the pitfalls and perils that might lie ahead.

Knowing that you're scared is humbling, and we've all been humbled by the financial crisis.

The Gospel of Luke says the shepherds in the Christmas story were afraid.

Maybe Christmas, regardless of your faith, is a time to reassess, to determine in whom and in what you really believe-institutions, people, a deity.

Maybe this year was the year we learned we put faith in things which didn't deserve it.
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