In January, it’s impossible not to reflect on the prior year.  2016 had so many great occurrences but it was a tough year for many families.  I have learned that it’s the little things that matter in the end.


Every year, many of our cities and townships have a Santa Claus drive through the district making hundreds of stops at homes and businesses on Christmas Eve.  This is one of the most festive events that our local officials offer to our citizens.


A visit from St. Nick may not seem like a big deal to some, but for many families, this personal visit has become an annual tradition.  Not to mention, it adds to the great hometown appeal we have come to treasure in southwest Ohio.


This act of kindness did not mean as much to me until I attended a funeral last week of an elderly man I had known since my childhood.  He lived in Madison Township for over 50 years with his wife of 68 years.


As I was offering my condolences to his widow, she surprised me by telling me about this past Christmas’s “Santa visit” to their house.  This had been their last Christmas together as husband and wife, but she did not know that at the time.  As tears streamed down her face, she told me about how her husband normally went out to the road to see Santa with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but this year he was too ill to do so.


Still, he looked out the front picture window and watched the children’s delight at Santa’s visit and the candy canes.  I was surprised that this Christmas Eve event meant so much to her.  She said he laughed out loud at the Santa scene and that she would never forget the look on his face, gazing at his large family outside.


I am so thankful for the men and women of our local police, fire, and emergency departments who sacrifice their time to do something so special.  It requires a lot of work, planning, and expense to accomplish this act of selflessness. 


Butler County is truly the greatest place in the world to live.  I believe that.  I love the hometown feel of our communities.  They prove themselves constantly as good stewards of our faith in them. 


I hope our “Good Samaritans” keep up this project, knowing that what they do really does matter.  They are helping to create memories for children and families.  And that’s what community is all about.

 
 
 
  
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