Commentary – Spread cheer, love at Christmas

Richard Froese

Christmas is just five weeks away and the calendar of events will soon fill up.
It could be a busier Christmas season after COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 and 2020 cancelled major gatherings such as school concerts, community festivals and dinners.
Let’s trust those events can return as much as possible, although it will depend on the state of health in local schools and communities.
A Christmas concert is traditionally one of the biggest highlights of the school year as parents and grandparents eagerly watch the young children perform and sing to their heart’s content.
Many communities are welcoming the return of Light-Up and Moonlight Madness events and other local shopping promotions that attract several hundred people to celebrate the season.
More than ever, small businesses need local residents to support them during the busiest shopping seasons of the year. After struggling the past two years, businesses now face rising prices that often lure local shoppers to other larger communities and big box stores.
Considering the high price of fuel to drive a vehicle to larger towns more than $100 km away, it’s definitely easier on the wallet and credit card to shop at home.
Support local business! Without continued local support, many businesses and stores face a futile future if they don’t go out of business sooner. Local businesses to help sustain local communities.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle and rush, focus on the real reason for the season. Celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who brings true peace and joy to the world.
Christmas is a time to share and show charity and give to others. Many people in the community – your community and friends – are less fortunate and struggle to provide plenty of healthy food for themselves and their families, even during Christmas.
Local organizations that provide Christmas hampers and vouchers expect demand will be higher as inflation and the high prices of food, fuel, utilities and other necessities of life are hurting people everywhere. Many people are having to choose between buying more food or paying the electricity bill.
Food banks across Canada are reporting a record year for clients of food hampers while many shelves in the food banks are bare or in scant supply.
During the giving season, food banks are looking to people to donate food and funding to help them provide for the abundant needs of local residents.
Many businesses and organizations are also holding food and toy drives to make Christmas happier for people across the region.
Spread love and cheer to people around you. A community that shares is a community that cares.
In one news report, people who have been loyal donors to a food bank have now become applicants in need. Give and support your local food bank and charities because you never now when you will need their service.
People may also consider a neighbourhood Christmas. Invite a lonely neighbour, single, couple, seniors or family to your home during Christmas for a meal or two. Give them a care package of food.
Bless others and you will be blessed, maybe not immediately but sometime when you may need it the most.
Take the time to celebrate the true meaning. Jesus is the reason for the season. Enjoy a Christmas service at a local church with family and friends.
Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed and healthy New Year!

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