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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is a former associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers.

Opinion

Merry and just right

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

By the time most of you read this, Gideon and I will have the car stuffed with wrapped gifts, suitcases, pillows and blankets. Iím the kind of traveler who freaks out if their suitcase isnít perfectly organized two days before a big trip ó preferably, itís sitting in the trunk long before those keys meet the ignition.

We are leaving this week to visit both sides of my family for the first time since 2019. Fortunately, we saw my momís family over the summer and on Thanksgiving.

But we havenít hugged anyone in my dadís family in two years. To say I miss them would be an understatement. It was such a joy picking out their Christmas gifts this year, knowing we will see their faces when they see whatís inside the box.

Truthfully, I went a little over the top. Gideon didnít stop me. He kept pointing out more things we could buy. ďHow about this nice-smelling candle? Doesnít your mom love candles? Oh, and check out this book on Civil War history! Your dad loves reading about the Civil War, right?Ē

Iím usually such a cheapskate, hanging on to every last penny for the apocalypse or that luxury vacation we fantasize about after moving money into our savings account each month. But if youíre ever going to spend loads of money, it better be on the people you love. Sometimes you need an enabler to pry the credit card from your hands. I have to say, I have a pretty great enabler!

Regular readers know Iím big on showing gratitude, especially in situations where itís hard to be thankful for anything at all. This holiday season, I canít find a single thing to be upset about ó quite a statement coming from a big old pessimist! Iíve got a wonderful husband who loves me more than Lord of the Rings, five sweet kitties, supportive family and the best friends in the world.

Even more, I am blessed to have a roof over my head and food on the table every night. Thatís one thing Iíve never had to worry about. When finances were tight as theyíve ever been, Gideon and I still had shelter and food. My work with local nonprofits has shown me thatís not the case for many in our community. I thank my lucky stars every day to never fret about my basic needs being met.

And then thereís all of you in Carroll County: regular readers of this column, whether you love it or hate it; nonprofit leaders who work hard to ensure everyone has shelter, food and safety; the mayors and council members who pass ordinances that make our cities better; every citizen who donates pet food, supplies or time to Good Shepherd Humane Society; my neighbors who bring us cat food and firewood; my wonderful coworkers, especially my always supportive boss, Scott Loftis, and so many others.

It would take countless columns to list everyone Iím thankful for in Carroll County. If you are reading this, you are definitely on that list. This Christmas, I hope you are surrounded with loved ones, good food and the Christmas movie of your choice.

Iím choosing Black Christmas (1974), much to my motherís dismay. Hey, sheís just lucky Iím not going with either of the two remakes!

To everyone in Carroll County and beyond, I wish you a merry Christmas. The best is yet to come, but letís enjoy the moment for now.