Christmas/holidays (179369)
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We have just celebrated Thanksgiving with our family and friends. It was festive and fun. The food was tasty—a buffet of delightful dishes. Living in the Crescent City meant for our family that one of the dishes was gumbo. This tradition of Thanksgiving is rich and has been with us for years, and is the start of the holiday season.

Black Friday sales, previously reserved for the day after Thanksgiving, began weeks ago. A historical report says that back in the 1950s, police in Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city before the Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year.

NBC News reported that Black Friday online sales set a record for purchases.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continues to be a great attraction for those watching on television or in person. The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade was held on Nov. 27, 1924. It has been going strong since that time.

Let’s remember the reason for the season and not be overwhelmed by the commercial aspect of it. It is my opinion that America has had its share of struggles this year and families have suffered in many ways. The pandemic is still with us, and millions of our brothers and sisters have passed away from COVID-19. The latest reports say there have been more than 98 million cases and that more than 1 million people have lost their lives.

Vaccinations have become a staple in our healthcare maintenance schedules. They will be with us for years to come. If you have not been vaccinated, you are playing with your life. I am glad that my family and friends have been vaccinated because it lowers the risk of contracting COVID-19. While mask-wearing is not as prevalent, we should still consider them when we are in the public square.

Losing your life to an illness is one thing, but losing your life because of a shooting is quite another story. Yet we find ourselves amid a battle with ourselves. You see, we are pulling the triggers and killing each other.

Reports have shown these violent crimes are happening with increased regularity. You and I know the numbers, and they are all bad. Just when we have reached a low point, we somehow manage to go even lower. When will this evil period in our America stop?

Despite our myriad of problems, we must create some happiness for ourselves. It cannot be all doom and gloom. We have ways of finding love and peace. It is within our reach, starting with our patience—having more of it will be a great beginning. Simply smiling and using encouraging words will help to shine a bright light on someone’s dark place. We must try harder to find the good in each of us because there is good in us.

We usually make New Year’s resolutions after the December holidays, but I believe the time is now.

Let’s resolve to stay better connected to our family members and friends.

Let’s resolve to take better care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.

Let’s resolve to control ourselves and not let our tempers control us.

Let’s resolve to help a young person with their goals and dreams.

Let’s resolve to value each day because tomorrow, not even the end of the day is promised.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson always tells us to “keep hope alive.” Let’s do it.

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