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Our Thoughts: Christmas time in Covington
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Our community seems to shine brightest at Christmas.

If you were out and about the last few nights you would have noticed that at once. Yesterday, Porterdale hosted its Christmas parade, bringing people near and far out to experience its village charm. Friday night, Mainstreet Covington hosted an evening with the Grinch, and families got a chance to spend a night out together among the lights of downtown Covington. Throughout the weekend, the tradition of The Nutcracker danced across the stage at the amazing new Porter Performing Arts Center.

This weekend also marked a celebration of those who help the Garden of Gethsemane shelter stay open, saw hundreds of motorcycle riders rumble through town delivering presents and had the Covington Police Department swap out their patrol cars for holiday shopping carts.

Each event offers the chance for people to celebrate with their neighbors, friends and family in a way only community can.

The holidays seem to bring a rush to stores to buy the next gift on the list, or to cram to finish the final projects of 2016. With all the hustle and bustle, events throughout Newton County give us the opportunity to slow down… to say hello and Merry Christmas to each other.

And right now we need that togetherness.

For all the fun and festive things that are happening, we are also experiencing trials.

The week started out with two TV stations focusing on financial issues within the county government. A few nights later Newton County was back in the nightly news as a 19-year-old girl was murdered in a domestic dispute.

We’ve also struggled with the loss a sheriff officer, educators and community leaders.

As we all head out to the next Christmas event, celebration or party, take an extra moment and talk to your neighbor, friend or newest acquaintance.

We also encourage everyone to remember that the season can be more than lights and presents. Today, the meaning of Christmas will be on display in the heart of our downtown with a nativity, featuring carolers and the story of Christmas.

In all, our community is a great place to live, work, and play.  And to celebrate the Christmas holiday. While you are enjoying the lights and sounds of Christmas, meeting with Santa, chopping down your tree or slowing down to hear carols, meet neighbors and reflect on the meaning of Christmas, take the time to realize the gifts of community. And rejoice this season.