I think our collective ability to “be thankful” has been tested to its limits in 2020.

I have had family members and friends, like many of you, who have tested positive for COVID-19 over these past eight months, and while I worry about unknown long-term effects this disease will have on their hearts and lungs, they have all fortunately recovered. I am so thankful for that.

I had so many events on my calendar—events like fundraisers for our local nonprofits, community celebrations, even a niece’s wedding—all cancelled or postponed to 2021. All of us have. Our calendars for this year are full of events crossed off or notes in the margin of hopeful new dates in the future. None of it was planned. For those who found ways to create a new option for our engagement and involvement, I am extremely thankful.

I know this year has been hard for our local area businesses. Many had to close for almost two months, or if they stayed open, they had to completely alter how they did business. Restaurants had to take to the curbs, only allowed to offer takeout service. Stores had to take orders online or over the phone and bring those outside to you when you arrived for pick up. And so many of our business service providers conducted their business with you by phone or over Zoom. While this may not be how we prefer to handle our business—face-to-face will always be my preference—at least we have these options. I will be exceedingly grateful when Zoom and WebEx meetings are not a part of my daily life, but I begrudgingly admit, I am thankful they are an option.

As the holiday season rolls around and we all look for ways to be with family and friends safely, there is a high probability that those gatherings will look different. I would suggest to you that in all this upheaval, there is much to be thankful for. Take the time to thank the owners and workers in the local stores and restaurants. They have weathered a long, hard storm this year and there is not yet a clear future. Take time to reach out, even if it is over Zoom or WebEx, to your loved ones and let them know how much you appreciate and love them. Many of us have lost so much this year, but with a little introspection, I think we can all find so many reasons to be thankful.

Anytime you have questions about what is happening, need a recommendation for services, or need the actual date of a public event, go to our website or call our office. We are here to help. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Find us at EvergreenChamber.org. Call anytime: 303.674.3412.