With less than two weeks to go before the holidays, the Valley and its people are once again exemplifying the Christmas spirit. Volunteers from across the region have been working overtime to ensure the season could not be merrier – despite ongoing public health measures, a rampant increase in cases province-wide, and the emergence of the Omicron variant prompting calls for booster shots and increased caution. There is plenty going on to inspire the “humbug” in all of us, and yet there is a community-wide resistance to this kind of thinking. Even the Grinch was caught taking in some holiday cheer at local events in the past weeks.
It is hard to resist the lights, garlands, and glitter associated with this time of year. From the Christmas Village produced by the Livestock Breeders Association of the District of Beauharnois (LBA) to gift giveaways by the Optimist Clubs, events sponsored by community organizations, school activities, Christmas baskets, and municipal happenings, there is no escaping the joy this time of year radiates.
But what makes the Valley special is the way the community rallies in times of need. The heavy winds that swept through the region this past weekend left many in the dark, without electricity, heat or water. However, it did not take long on Sunday morning before invitations were extended by local businesses to warm those without power. Volunteers also went out of their way to ensure striking daycare workers were taken care of while they protested, despite the challenges their fight may have caused for parents. We are especially blessed to live in such tightly knit communities.
We at The Gleaner have enjoyed the privilege of telling our local stories for a second year, and we too have experienced the exceptional generosity, kindness, and support of the Valley community on multiple occasions.
Such reciprocity exemplifies the spirit of giving, with our community coming together to ensure we stay informed across the region. That’s what I’m grateful for this holiday season. Sarah Rennie