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OP-ED: Ready for a new year

Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

We heard the jingle jangle of the sleigh bells chime as Christmas flew into our living rooms last weekend.

With the promise of a new year drawing closer, there is much to rejoice about this year despite the many battles we faced throughout the year. Battles such as the great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020. I must admit, I never thought I would write so much about toilet paper, such as one ply tree bark or the hunting for Lysol wipes. Who knew we had become so addicted to being able to just grab a quick wipe to clean up an area?

Despite the shutdowns, stay at home orders, wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, wear a mask, we survived it and were able to enjoy Christmas with our loved ones – with social distancing, of course.

I sound like I am making light of the situation, but in reality, like you, I am trying to reach the other side of this pandemic.

I, too, am waiting for loved ones to show signs of infection after possible exposure while praying they do not have the virus. I too am thinking twice before walking out the door each morning. Is it REALLY necessary? Can I live without it a little longer?

While there are many things people are missing of their recent lives, I started reflecting on yesteryears, such as the Christmas tree lots that would pop up along MacArthur Drive. Every year I said next year would be the year I would get one of those flocked trees.

A flocked Christmas tree, or “flocking a Christmas tree,” simply refers to the process by which many people around the word capture the real feeling of a winter wonderland via a generous dusting of artificial snow, according to countryliving.com

Sadly, I have yet to buy a flocked tree and now I cannot find a local Christmas Tree farm. The one local one was wiped out after suffering the Deweyville Flood in 2016 and then the devastation of Harvey in 2017. I had hoped it would eventually return, but it does take time to grow the perfect tree. Think of the families who had to find a new tradition since going to the farm was no longer an option.

Every year, we all face new challenges. Losing a loved one, losing a job, a promotion for a better position, an addition to your family. Challenges are not always obstacles in the path you travel, sometimes it is learning to adjust as you are gifted new blessings.

In 2020, we were given the blessing of facing a challenge together, granted a pandemic the entire world faced with us as well. All of us. Every single person. Every one.

We are not in this alone and we can face this together.

And while I spent last week looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, I know there are people out there who do not believe. I am not here to tell you if you are right or wrong in what you believe. That is for you to decide. I am here however, if you want to learn more about why I do believe in Jesus and why I look forward to celebrating his birth every year.

Because, at the end of the day, after this trying year, celebrating the birth of the King of Kings meant even more to me this year.

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com