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MARY MEAUX — Be nice to one another, especially at Christmas

Well, Christmas is here and I’m sure those who celebrate have had their tree up and house decorated for weeks. The presents are under the tree and the holiday plans are some variation of stay at home, visit virtually, go out and socially distance or something similar.

And while some are excited and ready to celebrate after a year of not-so-pleasant events, we need to look out for each other.

I came across a meme recently that said a lot:

“You’re going to come in contact with an awful lot of people who are at their absolute breaking point this week or two. Friends, family, co-workers, teachers, strangers in the grocery store, retail workers.

While it may be the merriest time of the year for some, it may be the saddest, most stressful, loneliest, most heartbreaking for others.

We’re all busy. But we’re not too busy to be kind, caring and patient. Remember the best thing you can give this season is love.”

The message is attributed to someone named Amy Weatherly whom I have never heard of before this. I searched for her online and found her listed as a motivational speaker, writer and blogger.

My point is this; with all the cheer and festivities, however large or small considering we are still in a pandemic, there are those out there that may not share your enthusiasm — so be kind.

I try hard to ignore those that spout good will and joy then slam someone for wearing a mask/not wearing a mask, for being a Democrat, for being a Republican, for their views on COVID-19… the list goes on and on.

To be blunt, there are some mean people out there. You can disagree and not be rude or belittling.

Now that we’ve established to “just be nice to each other,” I can honestly say I’ve seen a lot of love shown in Mid- and South County. And, for a not so great of a year, I’ve seen some heartwarming things.

Groves Police Department officers and Port Arthur Police Department officers took part in Blue Santa programs where they made the Christmas joyful for families in need.

In late November, Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie along with Shine On Humanity provided the makings for a Christmas meal to residents in need. And just a few weeks ago the city of Port Arthur hosted a drive-thru Christmas event where toys and food were distributed.

Dr. Levy Q. Barnes, who has given back to the community for many years, brought smiles and toys to local children with a special event.

Over in Groves newly elected mayor Chris Borne was on hand at Celebration Park to flip the switch and light the city’s Christmas tree. Borne was surrounded by family and some members of the Groves Beautification Committee, though this year there was no musical program, no singing school children and no Santa due to COVID precautions.

But the park remains open and is lit up at night for visitors to view.

Nederland and Port Neches city held golf cart parades to the enjoyment of many, at a time when the pandemic caused for the cancellation of larger parades.

And these are just a sampling of the good will and cheer that officials were able to bring to fruition at a time when it is desperately needed.

Merry Christmas!

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com