My wife Mahli and I watched a Christmas movie the other night. I’m a sucker for a good Christmas movie. And there was this scene at the end where the family was just sitting around the living room, telling stories, enjoying each other’s company.
And I got a little lump in my throat, thinking of my family, and how much we’ll miss the simple act of gathering together this year. Because this year we’ll be staying home, we won’t see my folks or my wife’s folks, our kids won’t see their grandparents – and that’s hard.
We want them to stay safe, we want to stay safe. And we know it’s the right thing to do. But It’s hard. We also know that other families are struggling with much harder challenges right now.
The grandmother who can’t hold her new grandchild. The family with a loved one in long-term care they can’t visit. So many people out of work, with bills piling up. The small business owner just trying to keep the doors open on a labour of love. The frontline workers putting themselves at risk to keep all of us safe.
This has been a hard year in many ways. And we’ve reason to believe that next year will be better.
But please, if you have the ability, give some thought to how you might reach out to someone who is struggling. You could shovel a neighbour’s walk, or drop off some cookies. Volunteer to safely serve a meal. Zoom or Facetime with someone you know who could use a call.
This is the kind of thing Saskatchewan people excel at. Particularly at Christmas, Saskatchewan people care and we show it.
And if you’re struggling, please, ask for help. Call the healthline at 811, or the Kids Help Phone, or call your MLA -- that’s what we’re here for.
Finally, in this time of generosity and reflection -- the strangest holiday season I hope any of us will ever experience in this strangest of years -- let’s share our appreciation for those who are working hard to keep us safe. To our children’s teachers, to our grandparents’ care aides, to our first responders and small business owners -- thank you for everything you do, day in and day out. May you all have a healthy and happy holiday season, and look forward to more time together and a brighter 2021.