Look forward to better times in the near future

By Cathy VanRisseghem, Guest Columnist

As the days draw closer and closer to Christmas, I’m finding myself getting more and more excited to celebrate this beautiful season. In light of all the tragedies these past few months, I have a feeling this Christmas may be more special than most, if that’s possible.

Though our country grieves, I believe this year, more than others, we’ll hold our loved ones a little closer and embrace each moment we’re given. I think it will cause all of us to pause and really contemplate the great gift the babe in the manger has brought us.

For many people, Christmas is a very special time of year. I find myself doing things such as baking cookies with my grandchildren when I never bake any other time of the year. Christmas programs, movies, events and family gatherings are all a part of this magical time. Families unite to celebrate, friends are remembered and peace comes with the joy of the season. As the lights glow beautifully on our Christmas trees, on our homes, and on our businesses, I hope that it helps to brighten up our spirits for this festive season of Christ’s birthday. My prayer is that this light serves as a guide to help us all rise to better times in the near future.

When I look around Little Falls, I am continually amazed at all the wonderful people who diligently strive to make our town a better place to live, work and play. It is during Christmas and New Year’s that goodwill and friendship traditionally prevail, but one of the things that has been made abundantly clear to me since becoming mayor, is that these qualities are alive and well within our community all the year round.

It has been a difficult year for many people and that’s why it’s important to pull together and help support each other within our local community, as well as remember our local charities which still need our help where possible.

Christmas is a time when we need to reflect on our achievements, hopes and aspirations for the coming year. It is also a time when we should think about others and allow ourselves to show compassion for those in the community who might be struggling this year. Reach out to those who are lonely, or missing a loved one. Greet a neighbor, or hug someone special.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. May the joy and wonder of this blessed holiday season fill you with hope as you remember and celebrate the birth of our savior.

“May God bless and keep you, may God’s face shine on you and may God be kind to you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26.

Cathy VanRisseghem in the mayor of the city of Little Falls.