From the Editor’s Files: Celebrate Christmas…while being careful, of course


By Paul Rhodes, publisher and editor

“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?”
Who could ever forget the famous first line from the famous Christmas song, “Winter Wonderland.”
But for many of us, it’s been a long drought between the Christmas seasons we know and love. Those Christmas bells barely rang at all last year.
The last time our area really celebrated Christmas was 2019, right before the global pandemic started turning our lives upside down. Most of us are yearning for something – anything, really – that feels like Christmas.
Now, with some caution, our communities in the TSnews coverage area are gearing up for an impressive round of Christmas celebrations this weekend. Almost every community we serve with our newspaper group is hosting some kind of Christmas gathering this Saturday. Some are all-day affairs, and others are focused on evening events.
The pages of this week’s newspaper are filled with the details of this weekend’s celebrations, and I’ll let you sort out those details on your own. Suffice it to say there is something for everyone, and close to home.
I have been an advocate for caution throughout this pandemic, and my position on that issue hasn’t changed. Even with my vaccination and my booster shot, I’m still a mask wearer in many situations because of my compromised immune system.
That being said, I’m excited that our communities are moving ahead with holiday celebrations galore, and that each of us can pick and choose our level of comfort with the events that are happening. For some of us, outdoor activities – tree lightings and other entertainment – will better fit our comfort levels. For others, indoor activities will be just fine.
The hope, of course, is that many of us can get out into our communities this Saturday and take part in something that helps fill our hearts with the joy of the holiday season, and sets the tone for our own family gatherings later this month.
I continue to find disruptions in my own life due to COVID, and close calls continue to happen. Just this week, one of my doctors called me to reschedule an appointment because he had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. That was a first for me.
Still, I need some Christmas spirit in my life, just like everyone else. And to that end, I’ll get out and celebrate the holiday season in ways that are safe for me.
The pandemic goes on, and each of us is responsible for the situations we place ourselves in from day to day. Now it’s time for Christmas, and the desire to share the holiday spirit is boiling over in many of us.
I’m excited that our communities are getting back to normal with holiday celebrations this weekend, and I hope that we move ahead into the month of December with few or no repercussions from our revelry. That would truly be a gift for Christmas.
Listen for those sleigh bells this Saturday. And be careful out there, in the way that suits you best.