December already! While I suspect that many people will be happy to usher in 2021, I know we can all find a way to make this holiday season special.
I am grateful for this amazing community that we live in. There are many groups that are working hard to find ways for us to celebrate this season together. Whether it be a Santa Tour shared via social media, a live streamed tree lighting ceremony or an outdoor market featuring local vendors, our community has found many creative ways to make great memories with our loved ones and share the spirit of Christmas. It may even be a welcome break to distance ourselves from the commercial expectations of the holiday season and focus instead on the friends and family who make our lives richer every day. This year let’s focus on who is around the tree instead of what is under the tree. We all want to see our local businesses survive and thrive this year and one way we can each make a difference is to shop local. Remember that great local shop that your neighbor told you about with all the unique handcrafted items? Or that sweet little country store that features local goods? Now is the time to visit those shops or look for them online. Then share your positive experiences shopping in our community and together we can continue to strengthen our local economy. However, you choose to celebrate, I wish you good health, happiness and joy this holiday season.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Doug Shipley is the Member of Parliament for Barrie - Springwater - Oro-Medonte. He can be reached at email@example.com.