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‘Content, surviving’ may have to do as this year ends

“Joyful and triumphant” may feel a little more like “content and surviving” for many area residents this holiday week, but given the year we as a state and nation have experienced, that is enough.

Together we have, for nearly nine months, learned how to be a community in an entirely new way. Heroes have emerged as ordinary folks became the front line in our battle against a deadly virus; as parents and teachers partnered to find a new way to teach our kids; as small businesses were shored up by the support of those who found a different way to dine and shop; and organizations went from plan B to plans F, G, H and beyond as they adapted to changes that seemed never-ending.

Today, many find a new way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Perhaps it is video calls and shipped gifts this time; family bakers talking their relatives through making the perfect pie in their own kitchens; families making their much smaller gatherings special.

Today there are also families grieving. There are empty seats at our tables and calls that will not be made. May these families feel some comfort, some joy, as we end one year and move into the next.

Take a drive around the neighborhood. The lights are burning brightly — more so than in years past, in fact. Candies, cookies and cakes of the past week will still inspire New Year’s resolutions. Through it all, we know we still have so very much to celebrate, despite the hardships of the past year.

We have found so many new ways, too, to love one another. We have adapted and supported each other, even when apart. We have been determined to find new ways to keep on keeping on, to not let this public health crisis stop us completely.

May that spirit and the hope this season brings carry us through another year.

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