A Christmas to Remember - Paycheck

A Christmas to Remember

The year 2020 began with a lot of hope.  It signaled the beginning of a new decade.  The economy was bustling along.  Things were prosperous.  Then, COVID-19 hit with a vengeance in March and life as we knew it came to a screeching halt.  If you told someone a year ago we would all be wearing masks and doing something called social distancing, you would have gotten a very strange look.  But, it is the “new normal” that we live everyday, along with a lot of restrictions. 

Beginning with Easter and most recently, Thanksgiving, things were either cancelled or modified to be on the safe side of the virus.  But, what about Christmas?  Will people continue to Zoom along for family gatherings?  Or will they keep traditions the same like any other year? 

We asked people what they will be looking forward to or what they will miss this year.  Crystal of Madison Township, Lackawanna County, said, “HUGS!!!! I Miss HUGS!!!! Handshakes and dinner with family.”  Nancy of Thompson, Susquehanna County, said, “I miss church services; especially Christmas Eve service. I also miss the grandchildren's school programs, concerts, etc. Another thing is that my sister and a friend have gone to the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show in Harrisburg for a number of years and that was canceled this year. So I’ll miss that day out with them. I’m also missing the craft shows that have been canceled; particularly the one at Lake Ladore in Waymart. All the crafters who depend on this income are missing out also.”  Helen of Herrick Center, Susquehanna County, said, “I miss seeing all my relatives. lots of hugs and kisses.”  Lucille of Hanover Township, Luzerne County, said, “Really miss all the Christmas get togethers/parties/special concerts/shows/my son’s dances. I’m still making my traditional Christmas Eve fishes dinner and Christmas brunch because we are a small group.”

 Mary of Clinton Township, Wayne County is looking forward to one thing. “I am interested in seeing how things are going to play out with church.  See if people will attend.  I am looking forward to celebrating Jesus’ birth most of all,”  she said.  She also mentioned things that she will miss, “I am going to miss the freedom to get together with friends, work parties, having people over for dinner.  We used to have people over for the holidays.  Getting together with family.  I have two sons that live out of state.  We would be free to visit with them and with our (she and husband’s) grandkids.  You can’t just pop in and say hello if you are carrying something.  I doubt that there will be singing for Christmas.  I would like to see more people in church but there will be more exposure.  I feel people will become more complacent (if they don’t go),” she said. 

Barry Searle, Clifford Township, Susquehanna County, said he isn’t changing a thing.  “I refuse to change.  I am too much of a libertarian.   My sons and daughter have come in.  I will see my grandchildren.  We celebrated for Easter, Thanksgiving and will celebrate for Christmas.  I am an elder in the Clifford Baptist Church.  We refuse to close and we don’t wear masks.  I have a real problem with the shutdown.  It’s government overreach.  You have people for years that have died from the flu and from suicide.  The whole shut down is political.  I wear the mask when I am in the doctor’s office or Walmart.  The shutdown is committing economic suicide.  I can’t support it.  An example of this is AA (Alcoholics Anonymous).  They have their meeting at our church.  Those people need the support group.  It would be terrible if the governor shuts it down.  The entire situation is blown out of proportion.  There are people who have conditions that need protection.  They don’t need to close schools.  They are trying to destroy society.  The ruling class is trying to make a group of mindless people with no education.  There will be an upper class and a supporting class,” he said.  Searle, who is also a Clifford Township Supervisor, strongly disagreed with the cancellation of all the events in the township this year, including Parkfest, which would have been held in September, Trunk or Treat and the Village Christmas event, so much so that he announced that he would not run for reelection when his term is up next year.  “I didn’t approve of shutting down Parkfest and everything being shut down.  When some people decided to close down Parkfest, we saw an incredible decrease in volunteerism,” he said.

However you feel this Christmas season, don’t let the Grinch, aka, COVID-19, steal your Christmas spirit.  Celebrate however you feel the most comfortable  Merry Christmas!

Theresa Opeka

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