Me­mories of hol­i­days can be made anew

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

At last, the long hol­i­day week­end is here. Hope­fully, the rush to get those presents — and to get them wrapped — is sub­sid­ing. It’s time to get to­gether with fam­ily and friends and ex­change pleas­antries as much as gifts. It’s time to re­lax and en­joy. And make me­mories.

That’s what we bring you in to­day’s edi­tion. Start­ing on the front page, and con­tin­u­ing in­side the A sec­tion, you’ll read sto­ries of me­mories of Christ­mases past, sub­mit­ted to us by our read­ers in Charles County and through­out South­ern Mary­land.

One re­calls the sim­ple joy of Christ­mas in 1955, with a fresh-cut cedar from the farm as the Christ­mas tree, and the smells of coun­try sausage. An­other in­volves a man get­ting the hol­i­day he never had as an or­phaned boy — and from a shoe­box, no less. Still an­other brings back a time of a house full of rel­a­tives, home­made pizza and mid­night Mass. An­other weaves the stor y of a Christ­mas jour­ney across the Po­tomac to de­liver a water­man to his fam­ily. Also, there is a stor y about a woman build­ing a Na­tiv­ity scene a piece at a time, and get­ting in touch with its deeper mean­ing.

In most of these tales, one theme is promi­nent: fam­ily. Whether that fam­ily is formed by blood or by the bonds of friend­ship or even mere shared ex­pe­ri­ences on a cold win­ter night, it is an un­matched ne­ces­sity dur­ing the hol­i­days. And as we cel­e­brate the joy of the sea­son this week, it seems there is no bet­ter time of year to be sur­rounded by the friendly faces of those we love.

Some of us may have fam­ily in other states, or even other coun­tries. Some may have loved ones serv­ing over­seas this hol­i­day. Some may have fam­ily liv­ing just across the street. And many who have shared the hol­i­days with us in the past have passed on.

In­deed, it may not be pos­si­ble for some to see their fam­i­lies this Christ­mas, but we hope that wher­ever they are, they are in good com­pany. And wher­ever each of our read­ers plans to cel­e­brate this spe­cial time of year, we hope you find your­selves warm, safe and in good com­pany.

We also un­der­stand not ev­ery one of our read­ers cel­e­brates the Christ­mas sea­son. Nev­er­the­less, we wish you a happy and healthy fi­nal week of 2016. May you ring in the new year with laugh- ter, hope and the ones you love close be­side you.

Be safe this hol­i­day sea­son, and es­pe­cially take care not to get be­hind the wheel of a car af­ter con­sum­ing al­co­hol. The Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and La Plata bar­rack of the Mary­land State Po­lice con­tinue to urge res­i­dents to plan ahead be­fore Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve par­ties — have a des­ig­nated driver, or call a cab for a sober ride home. Ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s High­way Safety Of­fice, De­cem­ber hol­i­days are the dead­li­est as a re­sult of drunk driv­ing.

So spend the next two week­ends with friends and fam­ily, but take steps to do so safely. Let’s make sure we all get to where we are go­ing and back again. Here’s to con­tin­ued hol­i­day mem­ory mak­ing.

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