A rose to all those organizations, volunteers and donors who used this Christmas season as an opportunity to help those in need and, in doing so, best demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas. The list of all who qualify for this distinction would be an impossibility in that it ranges from large, well-established organizations to smaller groups and even cases of neighbor helping neighbor who together provided food, toys and other acts of kindness for those who are struggling. The need is not confined to one day a year, of course, so we hope these acts will continue to meet the needs of those around us. As Dickens wrote in “A Christmas Carol,” may each of us “honor Christmas in our hearts, and try to keep it all the year.”
A rose of gratitude to all those for whom Christmas was a day of duty rather than a day of celebration. This applies to all those essential workers whose duties are required regardless of holiday. We especially acknowledge our medical workers — doctors, nurses, hospital staff, nursing home personnel and others — for whom the year has been so demanding during this pandemic. Christmas Day found them still at work, caring and comforting those whose circumstances kept them from the family gatherings that give holidays such as Christmas so much of its meaning. We thank you for your important service.
A rose to all who remain vigilant as we await the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine that will hopefully put an end to the deadly pandemic. While some in the Golden Triangle have already received the first of the two-dose vaccine, it will be months before it is available to the masses, which means the spread of the virus remains a serious threat. Let’s not let our guards down as we await the vaccine, however. We urge citizens to resist the urge to gather in large groups for New Year’s celebrations this year. The self-discipline we show Thursday may well dictate how “happy” the new year that begins Friday will actually be. Let’s do all we can to end the year on a healthy note.