During any other normal year we would just be coming off of a Thanksgiving weekend filled with family, friends, and loved ones and eating so much food that we passed out on the couch. Unfortunately, this is far from a normal year. Many people chose not to visit family and friends or to have large gatherings in the spirit of keeping everyone safe and not passing COVID-19 to loved ones. Many of us were vexed over missing our annual Thanksgiving traditions, yet there were so many others that did not even have food to share or eat. This year the food bank lines in many cities stretched for miles and miles. As much as I missed my family, I am eternally grateful to have had food. These are humbling times. People are suffering and businesses are suffering.
Shopping for gifts this holiday season will undoubtedly be different, as is virtually everything in this unprecedented year. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones that were not affected financially by COVID shut downs please let’s try to shop local with values this year and help make our community strong again.
“It is crucial to our independent local businesses that we give them support during these difficult times.”
Check out our Shop Local Gift Guide starting on page 41 so that you can see what locally owned businesses are offering and be inspired to enjoy the adventure of in- person shopping. This year, many businesses are offering online or phone purchases that can be brought to your car, making shopping safe.
This issue also highlights safe social distancing holiday events for the whole family to enjoy such as the 18th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza held at the Old St. Andrew’s Church downtown and the Cathedral District Jacksonville’s lighting up the district for Christmas which will be visible from I-95 and the Acosta, Main Street, Hart, and Mathews Bridges. For more information on these events see page 10.
Be safe, be well. Happy holidays from Arbus!
Cinda Sherman, Publisher