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An Echo Press Editorial: Getting through a COVID Christmas

By the Echo Press Editorial Board

Christmas is here but it’s not exactly a holly jolly one this year.

Instead, many people are feeling lonely, isolated, anxious, frustrated and downright angry. It’s all because of a Grinch, otherwise known as COVID-19, that’s threatening to steal Christmas by limiting social gatherings, closing indoor service at bars and restaurants, and imposing other rules and restrictions that will make the holidays feel very different this year.

And more terrible than all of that, will be the empty chairs at holiday tables – painful reminders of those who fell victim to the pandemic sometime over the last 10 months.

But all those awful things will never take away the true spirit of Christmas and why the day is so special. No Grinch, no disease, no chaotic changes are bigger than Christmas or its message of hope, miracles, love and the celebration of a very special birth.

So instead of losing faith in Christmas this year, let’s focus on the positive things that are taking place in our community as we get through the holidays, together, but apart.

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We can still communicate with family and friends through video apps or phone calls or Christmas cards and letters.

We can be thankful for groups such as Helping Hands of Alexandria, the Jingle Bells Foundation, Toys for Kids, United Way, Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf, for making Christmas brighter for the less fortunate.

We can be grateful for those on the front lines – nurses, doctors, law enforcement, ambulance personnel and others – who are putting their health at risk by helping those with COVID.

We can show our support for local restaurants by buying gift cards, ordering take-out, leaving a bigger-than-usual tip, or simply offering encouragement.

We can support local small businesses by giving them our business instead of clicking it away to an online retail giant.

We can show our appreciation for teachers and school districts that are doing the best they can under extraordinary circumstances.

We can be encouraged that vaccines are being rolled out to fight this vicious virus and be grateful for all those who played a role in it.

If you have a job, a family, friends, a home, a purpose, find comfort in that. Realize the blessings you do have and reach out to those who are missing any of those things.

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Finally, let’s all pause and take time this year to remember that Christmas is more than gifts, food and get-togethers. It’s a rebirth, every year, of our faith and hope in a higher power. And that starts within each and every one of us.

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