Without a doubt, 2020 has been a doozy! No one could be blamed for being tired and woozy. Just in case you’ve run out of holiday spirit and need to be reminded of what’s good that is near us, pick up your local paper and revel in these three stories from here which bring holiday cheer:
Fully aware of 2020’s effect on all things, the annual Festival of Giving Toy Drive for Salvation Army in Freeport rolled with the changes it brings. Last year they collected over 1,300 toys to help area kids- the girls and the boys. With dropoff locations closed off this year, Cub Foods parking lot became a place of great cheer. Nearly 2,000 toys were collected, with donors dropping by until well after sunset. Read all about it in your local paper and the needs of the children they’ve met.
Downtown Galena again came alive, with lights and luminaries throughout downtown and Grant Park on the night of December 12. Window displays burst into life in whimsical ways showing off the best of the season for all to see. From sunset for hours, 5,000 luminaries lit up the town, adding holiday joy in a year that many traditions are down. Read all about it in your local paper and see all the lights and displays before they come down.
If you are looking to hide in your holiday home and bury your nose in a good book alone, Freeport Councilman Jim Berberet has you covered with his new work of fiction. Self-described as political fantasy, there are cues to real places and scenes in Galena, Freeport and throughout Northwest Illinois. While a story of ambition and love, Berberet says the undercurrents of the book are to change Illinois government, restore Illinois to its prominence as a manufacturing center for the world and to make the state an entertainment destination. A work of fiction, but his themes are infectious. Nods to the past, “coincidental” references to the present and a future of our own making. Dickens himself would be proud. Read all about it and pick up a copy of Quest for the Pulitzer, if you’re down.
There is good news and good cheer all around us. Generosity of spirit exceeds expectations. As family surrounds us, we feel a renewed commitment to each other. We’ve gotten back to basics and are all the better for it.
From my family to yours, wishing you good health and good spirit, and I hope that a very Merry Christmas arrive at your doors!
Andrew S. Chesney is an elected Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 89th district.