“Christmas is the time of year for being with the ones we love. Sharing so much joy and cheer... what a wonderful feeling.”
Those words belong to the late great Ray Charles, in “That Sprit of Christmas,” and we use them here because it reminds us of what this season is all about. Whether a religious or secular observer of the holidays, one and all can treasure this time with family and friends in peace and fellowship.
But it is also a time to remember those of us who are not as fortunate, and those families who are not able to be together over Christmas.
We think of those stuck in European airports, or ferry terminals in Newfoundland because of recent storms, hoping they can make it home, and those who are missing them.
We think of our Canadian armed forces members in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, who find themselves in hostile foreign territory instead of being home with their families.
We think of Jay Spencer, who will spend the holiday season in a Toronto hospital, awaiting a lung transplant, and the friends and the friends and family who await his healthy return.
We think of the family of 87-year-old Harris Hill, who has been missing for more than a month after going hunting near Parrsboro. That family will not only have to endure Christmas without their loved one, but without the knowledge of knowing where he is or what happened to him.
Most of all, we can remind ourselves to be safe and responsible at a time when more traffic is on our roads, and whether conditions are not always favourable.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers. Celebrate the Ray Charles way.