Elsa Maxey

by Elsa Maxey 

Even before we entered the Christmas season, we were collectively undergoing what was called holiday fever because we began it much earlier this year, as it did in other parts of the country starting in September. If you drove around Fort Bend County’s neighborhoods shortly after Halloween, you probably saw Christmas outdoor decorations gradually going up and by Thanksgiving, the yuletide spirit seemed to have arrived.

Today, so many homes brighten up neighborhoods in Sugar Creek, Sugar Lakes, New Territory, First Colony, Greatwood and others with snowmen in the front yards – or like my neighbor Judy, wreaths, Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, candy canes, angels and lights, lights, lights!

Now that the festive stage has been set, it will be time for gifts. This go-round, more than ever, I think a lot of us are on a quest for joy that will be celebrated without many of the traditions we once observed due to COVID-19.

So, do you know what you want for Christmas 2020? It’s probably not along the lines of what you wanted and received, or even gave others last year, unless it was cash. That’s always good.

These days, many of us want to be in a safe and comfortable space as COVID pandemic numbers were projected to ramp up as a second wave occurrence. The safe space is what may bring us peace and joy this Christmas, especially with loved ones.

Here’s another non-material thing that I personally want for Christmas. It’s the blessing I may have taken for granted  –  the gift of community comprised of Fort Benders. This is where I get to continue to live in a friendly and helpful place, free from fright and free from elitism, that snobbery that keeps a person feeling like an outsider.

I recall that when I first arrived 30 years ago, I felt I was welcomed into the fold in Sugar Land, where I live, and in Missouri City and Stafford, where I have worked. So, when you casually run into people like Jeff Wiley, President of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council, and get a polite and respectful greeting at the grocery store like I did the other day, you know there’s no place like home. Wiley has been quite the advocate for the Fort Bend business community promoting quality growth and economic development, which is probably back on track with anticipated relocations and other opportunities that will add to the resilience and vibrancy of our economy.

You know, the notion of cancelling Christmas was suggested by higher ups in our nation’s capital out of a precaution due to the second pandemic wave of rising COVID cases. It’s not happening here and it’s not happening in other places, either. But we must remain attentive as we know it’s important to visit carefully with social distancing and masking.

And, let’s not argue so much about what has happened worldwide due to the pandemic and where we are now. I am reminded of what Winston Churchill once said, “If we open a quarrel between the past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.” No doubt, it’s time to move on and while we may need to define new pathways, I don’t think we need to remake our society.

Spending time with family and friends, especially during the yuletide season, is a sacred part of our society. That’s a keeper. It’s also a time for human connections – quite the most meaningful of gifts!

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