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Week of December 23

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Trying to make the most of a second straight COVID Christmas

Sir: Last Christmas, my friend Cathie got me a coffee mug that says, “Baby its COVID Outside.”

It made me chuckle, but also accept the fact that a pandemic Christmas was a reality. And now it’s a reality for a second year.

No one would ever sing, “I’m dreaming of a COVID Christmas.” But once again, Santa must go through all the sanitizing procedures. Heading down the chimney to deliver presents takes a lot longer when white gloves are replaced with disposables. Leaving cookies out on a plate with a glass of milk is traditional, but take-out may be more appropriate.

The traditional Christmas nativity scene has to be rethought again as well. Instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the three wise men should bring masks and hand sanitizer to Baby Jesus, and stay six feet apart. But from a ventilation standpoint, Mary and Joseph are better off in a breezy manger than a stuffy inn.

My Christmas preparations at home are almost complete. Once again, the wreath on the door is composed of toilet paper rolls. Our masks, along with our stockings, have been hung by the chimney with care.

Including “Don we now our plague apparel” in the carol “Deck the Halls” would be a big hit. And it goes without saying that under no circumstances should Mommy be kissing Santa Claus.

The worst part of another COVID Christmas is not getting to spend time with family and friends, especially those living out of town. Last year we needed to avoid the “Red” zones, which interfered with my most favourite Christmas colour.

I am also pondering Santa’s beard. Anyone who has worked in our petrochemical industry knows that beards don’t allow masks to seal properly.

Sorry Santa, but you really should think about shaving it off. Mrs. Claus would understand – after all, it’s another COVID Christmas.

Susan MacFarlane

Support for the homeless is support for the entire community

Sir: As a fellow South-Ender and neighbourhood organizer, I want to sing the praises of neighbours in Sarnia’s Heritage District who support the temporary homeless shelter at the former Central United Church.

Their compassion and solidarity is applauded by me and many others in our city.

Despite the clamour from others who wish that challenges like homelessness would just disappear (or go somewhere else), I commend my neighbours who are willing to take risks and make sacrifices in order to bring healing and relief to incredibly complex challenges.

Using pejorative labels for other human beings has never – and will never – be constructive toward building a healthier community.

Other publications ought to think twice about their community before publishing hurtful rhetoric.

Joshua Walters


The Story of Christmas told through the lyrics of songs

While shepherds watched their flocks by night

All is calm, all is bright

Behold throughout the heavens there shone a holy light

Hark the herald angels sing:


O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem

Where a mother laid her baby

Away in a manager no crib for a bed

How still we see thee lie

In a cattle stall a miracle we find

A newborn king to see pa-rum-pu-pum-pum

What shall we call him, Child of the Manger?

Immanuel, Immanuel, his name is called Immanuel

He came to save us, he came to help us

He comes to make His blessings flow

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?

Infant, Saviour & King, Infant, Saviour & King

Amazing grace!

Now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel

Evermore & Evermore!

Nicole Strampel 


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