Over Christmas we look back at what has happened globally and nationally and I think we have fared far better than most other countries.
e have come through Covid relatively unscathed, sadly we lost a few of our loved ones along the way, but the health response was immense and something we should be proud of.
China has seen a surge in the numbers once again owing to its lack of testing, even with its strict lockdown measures. We cannot be complacent.
That we have the ongoing issues with housing and cost of living is not exclusive to us but is a problem for most countries.
It’s not that we are short of available vacant dwellings we just need the willingness, foresight and investment to bring them in to use.
The war in Ukraine, thanks to the small man syndrome warmonger in Kremlin, has seen costs rise for fuel and certain foodstuffs but again the measures our Government has put in place has offset the worst of these rises.
On top of this we saw increases in the numbers seeking international protection and this in turn has had a knock on effect for our own populous and especially those seeking accommodation.
Yet we’ve extended our hand of friendship even though we pushed our services to breaking point.
Unlike our neighbours the UK, where Brexit was seen as the panacea to counter the evil of the EU, it has seen its export market contract and strikes right across public services bringing most services to a virtual standstill, yet we have managed to keep services running and seen our exports grow by staying in the EU.
Thankfully our system of pay negotiations has kept most strikes at bay with all parties willing to negotiate.
Our system of voting and peaceful transition and handover is a model most countries would love to have, unlike what happened in America on January 6 2020.
We have managed to stem the rise of extremism, especially from the far right unlike Italy, Israel and other countries, but again we can’t be complacent.
Letterkenny, Co Donegal
In my opinion, less is more when it comes to Santa Claus
In my day (1940s) Santa Claus was a far less accessible figure than today.
And it was no bad thing either, compared to now when he pops up on radio interviews, discusses GAA, and all in an “old” Dublin ho-ho delivery.
Please, less is more and magic is by definition remote and fragile!
Rathfarnham, Dublin 1
True meaning of Christmas is about love, not presents
As we celebrate Christmas we should ask ourselves, what is the true meaning of this festive season?
Is it all about buying each other presents, having fun, organising family gatherings? All this is good and proper, but it is not what Christmas is all about.
Christmas celebrates God’s love for each and all of us. God’s love is integral to the true meaning of Christmas.
Because if he did not love the world as he does, he would not have sent his son to die on the cross. Christmas is a reminder to the world that God loves everyone.
The true meaning of the festive season is all about God’s love for his people. Christ, being born in a stable on a cold starlit night in the Palestinian village of Bethlehem. Becoming one of us in order to show us all the way of love.
And not the rampant profiteering by huge multinational retail corporations annually on a world wide scale.
Cloonacool, Co Sligo
Thanks for getting me here – there’s no place like home
I was fortunate enough to make it home this year after a prolonged enforced absence courtesy of a virus whose name escapes me.
My journey threw me at the mercy of various transport networks across the planet. From the icy depths of the US to the soft rain Ireland, I encountered people doing their best.
I would like to say a warm thanks to all those who flew the planes, drove the trains, and kept the queues moving, despite the demands made by the mass seasonal exodus.
The real joy came with seeing the smiling faces in Dublin Airport. Meeting my family and friends again was worth the loneliness.
Absence doesn’t really make the heart grow fonder, being away makes you feel the loss more keenly.
What it really does do however, is confirm that there’s no place like home.
Boston and Galway City
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