In the cake plate a single piece of homemade fruit cake stands in its crumbs. The last of the wrapping paper has been incinerated—the smiling Santas, the golden bells, the green wreaths decked with holly will soon melt into the flames. The hambone from our Christmas feast will flavor the soup and swim in noodles and tomatoes with a sprinkling of chives. The tree will remain up until January 1, not because I’m superstitious, but because I savor every minute the tree graces the living room. I’ll drink coffee and hot tea from my Christmas mugs until the turn of the year. But no matter how long I hold onto the trappings of Christmas 2020, the holiday is gone. The year is waning too; nothing can stop the arrival of 2021 and most of us are ready to send 2020 on its way.
Even as we southerners plan our traditional good luck dinners of black-eyed peas, hog jowl, collard greens and corn bread, we hope for luck, for good fortune, for health. A friend of mine swears that we make our own luck. Luck, he insists, is not some supernatural thing that descends on some and ignores others. I don’t know if I agree with his interpretation of luck or not, but obviously we have a hand in our good fortune and good health, so maybe he’s right.
Some people make New Year’s resolutions, but I gave them up many years ago. Researchers tell us that some resolutions last a month or two, but most, only a few days. As the New Year rolls around, it is a good thing to sit back and assess our situations, maybe ponder a bit about the kind of luck we want here in Appling County.
We are blessed to live in a good community. Consider all the Christmas projects that helped hundreds of children and adults in 2020 (even in the midst of a pandemic), such as Secret Angel and Toys for Tots, just to name a couple. As wreaths decorated our doors, and lights adorned our houses and trees, we too shone with the spirit of Christmas. We opened our wallets and hearts to help the less fortunate with food, clothing, medicines, and other necessities. Maybe 2021 will be a good year for this entire country, not just for our county. It could well be the best one in decades. I hope that the Appling County folk will keep the Christmas spirit glowing throughout the coming year. We can’t rest on our laurels.
Programs exist all year long to help the needy in the county; we just don’t seem to try as hard when Christmas passes by. We all too often sink into our lethargy and our old ruts. However, in 2021, we could change all that. If we continue to look out for each other throughout the coming year, then here in Appling County, we’ll keep the feeling that comes naturally at Christmas time. We have people hurting from their own illnesses, people who are bereaved, and people who suffer from any variety of ills. Some of their problems we can’t solve, but we can stand by with moral and financial support and let them know we care. It’s all up to us.
I hope the New Year will bring the best of everything to each of you—blessings in every form as we work to make our community even better than it is now. Happy New Year.
You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish. I’d love to hear from you.