EDITORIAL: Patience and understanding among the best gifts to give in 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Isn’t that the go-to line for everyone when the calendar grows short of daylight, Siberian air streams start pointing their flow towards southern Ontario and the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping comes to its crashing crescendo Christmas Eve?

But what if it’s not? What if you aren’t a Christmas person? What if family is a difficult word in your vernacular? What if the holidays, in light of a raging pandemic that burns Ontario worse and worse everyday, is constantly messing with your mental health?

For some it’s easy to find joy at the end of December.

Maybe your faithful celebration of the birth of the saviour in that manger so far away is all you need. Perhaps your kids or grandkids will light the way through this time of year in spite of lack of face-to-face visits on Christmas or Boxing Day.

Unfortunately, there are those in our community that dread this time of year. While everyone around them is celebrating, reconnecting with relatives and feasting, there are those who stay silent, putting on their best face while they dread the slow passage of the 25th and 26th. Others withdraw completely.

This might seem a strange lede into a Christmas editorial but its one we feel compelled to write as we near the end of 2020. M

uch has happened in the last 365 days-enough to feel like we’ve all endured five years worth of events in one single stretch of the calendar. Nerves are frayed bare. Local families are going without. Tough times are going to get tougher in the short term as COVID-19 spikes throughout the province and another shut down looms.

This week’s commentary was inspired by a sign at the checkout of a local grocery store that was equal parts warning and request.

The warning was that abusive behaviour towards staff members wouldn’t be tolerated and the store was asking customers for patience and understanding as long lines were bound to occur and beleaguered workers were doing their best.

Just another one of those signs of times in 2020. Some of us need constant reminders to be human beings and acknowledge the situation we are in together as one people.

It isn’t all doom and gloom right now. This week, the coronavirus vaccine started making its way into the arms on Ontarians who are serving on the front line of this war against a faceless enemy.

There is a faint light ahead but the ground around us is treacherous as we move as a society to the post COVID-19 goal. Sadly, statistics say not all of us will make it there.

Our final message in 2020 is this- If you are one of the lucky ones that enjoy this time of year, reach out in a socially distanced way to those around you and be kind, patient and understanding.

Your gift of kindness and polite outreach might just be the best gift you give in 2020 and the vital one someone receives this Christmas.

From all of us at the Picton Gazette, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and very healthy 2021.

-Jason Parks

PICTURING OUR COMMUNITY

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS – The star of the show was in fine form on Saturday night at the 2020 Loch Sloy Santa Extravaganza presented by Tri Canadian Energy. With the absence of traditional Santa Claus parades in places like Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington and Consecon due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the stationary, drive-thru festival was a major success story thanks to the organization by the title sponsor and hosts as well as the participants and, last but not least, the families that came out by the hundreds to enjoy this community event. (Gazette Photo by Desirée Decoste.)