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ALVARADO: Giving thanks during uncertain times

The old saying is, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Well, I think I can speak for most everyone when I say that we are ready for 2020 to become hindsight.

A challenging year is drawing to a welcomed close.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays definitely feels different this year. However, despite the many struggles and uncertainties, we should remain full of gratitude for the many blessings we have in our lives.

Thankfully, election season has concluded. We can shift our focus to what this time of year is really about: family, friends and our communities.

Each Thanksgiving, I look forward to being home with family making memories. They are the moments that make life meaningful. Thanksgiving meals will probably be different for many families this year because of COVID-19.

No matter how you chose or may choose to enjoy Thanksgiving, remember those families that may be unable to be together this holiday season and those in need.

It is the season of giving for those who can, so I encourage you and your family to reach out to local charities or friends in need to ensure that they are taken care of.

We must also remember our service members, many of whom will be without their families this Thanksgiving, as they are away serving our country. We should honor these individuals and veterans as we give thanks for the many blessings and freedoms we have here in the U.S.

On a more personal note, please remember the on-duty doctors, nurses and first responders on duty who protect us and keep us alive while most of us enjoy a day off.

It would be easy to dwell on all of the challenges 2020 has brought us. COVID-19 has cast a dark cloud. It has heightened our anxieties, threatened the health of the vulnerable, brought on financial hardships and left many feeling a sense of uncertainty about the future. Normally, we have social gatherings, fellowship, dinners, sporting events and other activities to temporarily escape. These have all been disrupted by the pandemic.

While our anxieties and fears have merit, I hope you will join me in focusing on the silver linings in our lives. We still have so much for which to be thankful.

I have heard from many folks about how this year, more than ever, they have spent more quality time at home with their families.

People have found time to open a book in which they have always been interested.

They have picked up the phone and called a loved one or an old friend who has grown distant.

Some have begun a home remodeling project or cleaned out the garage.

Largely, people have chosen to enjoy the beauty within their community and appreciate the little things in life.

Be thankful this year for these silver linings and all of the truly precious things in life.

Whether it is with food, football, family or a combination of each and more, take time to say a prayer of thanks for all that God has done for us.

Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concern you.”

Also, don’t forget Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28. Its goal is to remind consumers that they play a crucial role in helping the small businesses in their community thrive, and in many ways this year, survive.

We are encouraged to shop and dine locally. With new restrictions put in place, these businesses face stark challenges, but there are still ways to support them. Consider ordering take out or picking up dinner curbside.

With Black Friday being canceled this year at many retail locations, Small Business Saturday is a perfect day to support your locally owned mom-and-pop-shops.

As always, please do not hesitate to call me about any public policy issue or with any question you may have regarding the upcoming 2021 legislative session.

Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th state senate district, which includes Clark, Montgomery and part of Fayette counties. He can be reached toll free at 1-800-372-7181 or by email at Ralph.Alvarado@lrc.ky.gov.