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Guest Editorial with Joyce Walter

Old friends bring comfort and joy

A local pastor in his recent sermon warned that Christmas is not always a season of comfort and joy, said in such a way to make one pause to reflect on that comment.

In this particular Christmas season, this community is facing increased addictions and mental health concerns, a rise in homelessness, more demand on food banks, increased requests from agencies such as the Salvation Army, and a decline in the money collected to help meet the needs of local families as they try to provide a Christmas celebration for their children.

While Moose Jaw residents are known to go above and beyond expectations in helping others, the past two years have acknowledged that sometimes there is despair in knowing that even more efforts are required, that a community can only do so much before hopelessness becomes a recognized reality.

Despite these conditions, there is still hope that just a bit more effort will relieve some of the tension of a Christmas season that falls below some of the traditional prospects of comfort and joy. And so the community digs deeper and somehow through a single-minded perseverance, brings a hopefulness that is contagious.

Through all the disappointments of this and any season is the knowledge that old friends will somehow lighten the load, will again offer their hands in comfort and return joy to our celebrations.

Singer Ben Rector’s message in his song tells us there is nothing like old friends because they know us like no one else can. “You can’t make old friends,” he sings to four of his old friends.

Another song, Old Friends, by Chris Stapleton has a similar message:

“Old friends, they shine like diamonds. Old friends, you can always call. Old friends, Lord, you can’t buy ’em. You know it’s old friends, after all.”

While it is possible to make new friends through the Christmas season as we attempt to help others in need, it will be old friends who work alongside to share both the despair, and the resulting comfort and joy.

May this Christmas season bring at least a small measure of comfort and joy to new friends and to those extra special old friends we all hold dear.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.