OUR VIEW: Holidays a time for those both near and afar

In eight days, millions of American children will see their eyes light up with sheer joy and glee as they burst through wrapping paper and get a first glimpse at that new-fangled gadget that they’ve been hoping to get for months.

In eight days, millions of Americans will sit down and enjoy a feast of Kings with their family, friends and loved ones to commemorate Christmas and the holiday season. The turkey will be warm, juicy and delicious – it always is. Here on the bayous of South Louisiana, the gumbo will be on point and seasoned to perfection.



The upcoming days are meant to be warm, and they are meant to be filled with love, joy, happiness and remembrance.

That’s what Christmas is all about.

But while we’re deep in our thoughts this holiday season, let us not forget the countless thousands who will be away from their families during this Christmas season – the men and women who are the lifeblood and backbones of our country.



Let us start with the military men and women.

Yes, it is true that the United States is not officially involved in a formal war. But there are still thousands of men, women and children (some local) who are going to be spending their Christmas seasons fighting to defend our freedoms and also to defend Democracy in places across the world.

We included ‘children’ in this description, because many of the men and women abroad are 18 years old or slightly older. No more than a few years ago, those folks were the young toddlers unwrapping gifts with wide eyes during the holiday seasons. Now, they have matured, blossomed and are defending our right to freely have a Christmas and a holiday season.



Away from service men and women, our area’s economy dictates that many workers will be away from home, missing out on the holidays.

Think of the people that you know and that are in your world. Now, of that total, think of the people who work in the oilfield. I’m sure that number is quite steep.

As we know, our nation’s oil and gas industry does not shut down during the Christmas season, which means that a lot of these folks will be several miles off the Gulf of Mexico on a lonely oil platform when the calendar turns to December 25. Sure, companies make their stay worthwhile by doubling or tripling pay during holiday work hours, but no price can be attached to missing opportunities to be around family and friends during these times that we cherish the most.



The same can be said of the labors made by boat captains, deckhands and all other laborers who may be called away from home during these holidays.

Or what about policemen and firemen? They, too, continue to push forward even while we all get the opportunity to be at home. Their efforts are selfless and without notice, but they are still out there working to protect us nonetheless.

So while Christmas is indeed a time of love, passion and remembrance, we urge you to take a moment or two to remember the folks that will be pulled away from their families during this holiday season.



Their efforts and labors should be appreciated, and they truly aren’t forgotten during the current holiday season.

BE SAFE, PATIENT DURING TRAFFIC HOURS

As the Christmas season inches near, there will be more and more folks on the roads locally. Some will be doing last minute shopping, while others will simply be getting from Point A to Point B to see family and friends while away from work.



Because of that, there’s no way to avoid the fact that traffic will be congested, and frankly, it will often be a downright annoyance – especially during knockoff time and other high-volume hours.

Stay safe, happy and well through the holidays. You’ll be doing yourself and your family a favor. And you’ll also be doing a favor to local law enforcement who would probably enjoy staying off the road and staying with their families this Christmas, as well.