I love Christmas, and spend weeks getting ready for it. However, once it is over, I am anxious to have things return to normal. Our tree is hauled away and all the ornaments and decorations are packed and put away before New Year`s Day. It seems that once Christmas is over, the things that were so beautiful the day before, are now in the way and cluttering up the house. I put away the ornaments and decorations knowing I will enjoy them all over again next Christmas, but for now I just want them gone. New Year`s Day is all about a fresh start, new hopes and plans for the incoming year, and it just feels right to clear the house of Christmas reminders. By the time we ring in the new year at our house, all evidence of Christmas is gone.
I enjoy spending New Year`s Eve and day with family and friends. I think the best way to welcome the new year is by spending it with people you love, saying good-bye to the old year and sharing hope for the new year. 2018 stretches out in front of us, an open book, full of promise and hope, not yet tarnished by the realities of life.
Each year at this time, I look back at the events which have occurred and think about what I consider to be “the story of the year”. Many events have occurred this year: unrelenting hurricanes and wild fires in the United States, fires in both northern and southern Saskatchewan, the heartbreaking shooting in Las Vegas and snow in Alabama, but I think the big story of the year is an event which occurred this month in northern Saskatchewan. The airplane crash just out of Fond du Lac which miraculously resulted in no loss of life. Twenty-five people unbelievably survived. We continue to hear stories of the bravery and heroism of the people from in and around the small community of Fond du Lac; how, with fuel raining down on them from the aircraft, rescuers worked relentlessly and at great personal risk, to save the passengers. They rushed to the crash site on foot, by snow mobile and one person even came by dog team. They literally ripped the plane apart to get to crash victims. Even though they were wet from fuel, the rescuers returned time after time to the plane, hauling each passenger to safety, then going back for more. These are our own home-grown true heroes.
As the new year begins, I am thankful that there was no loss of life that dark night and I offer a silent thank you to the heroes from Fond du Lac.
I hope you ring in the new year surrounded by people you love and that 2018 will bring you joy, happiness and health. Happy New Year!