I hope this greeting finds everyone and their family well.
It is the season of hope, believing, traditions and family. All of these are even more important this year as we look towards better times in 2021.
Julie and I thank you for your thoughts, prayers and offers of help as we fought a 3-week battle with COVID. I am happy to report that we have both returned to work and are on the mend. The support we received from the fire service family was over whelming.
The officers continue to work to keep this great organization moving forward. We are looking to return in person meetings and functions as the situation warrants, possibly at the spring meeting and training weekend in Greencastle PA. Between that time, we plan some other special activities along with a ZOOM Social to kick the new year off in January. We will keep everyone posted with the details.
Even though Christmas is just around the corner there is still time for traditions and family. I would ask you to take some time over the next couple of days and bring back an old tradition or start a new one with your family at home and at the fire house. For the Baldwins, it is bringing back a train under the Christmas tree, something my dad insisted on, and that we had gotten away from over the years. This year, in both Baldwin homes the clickity clack of trains reminds us of the joy of Christmas and my dad. As the TV commercial says “priceless”.
Another tradition that I keep is Christmas light date night. Julie and I go out to ride around and see lights. After the COVID experience, and taking stock of what matters, the Baldwin Family started a new tradition, a last-minute decision to kick off the holiday season at the beach for some much-needed family time and reflection.
The Fire Service tradition of Santa runs is more important this year than ever before, even in these last days before the jolly old elf comes down the chimney. If your department hasn’t done it already, give Santa a call, get a crew together and spread some hope and cheer. Those that have made the runs over the years, and especially this year, have seen the look of appreciation as Santa goes by.
One department holiday tradition that I miss is the annual screening of the movie, Christmas Vacation on the big screen in the community room at the Gettysburg Fire Department. It was an evening of the presenting Jelly of the Month Club Certificates, gag gifts (inspired by the movie) along with fun and laughter. About 70 members and loved ones gathered together as a fire department family. I look back to those Christmas’s with fond memories.
It’s never too late to bring back old traditions and start new ones before the end of the year. Even in 2020, it is the season to be jolly.
From my family to yours, and on behalf of the Officers of this great organization I want to wish you Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas.