Mayor’s Message: Have a happy holidays

In this week’s Mayor’s Message, Mayor Manzo wants residents to cherish the traditions in their family and make memories.

I love the holiday season, as I’m sure many of you do, too.

Regardless of how we practice our faith, it’s a time to gather with family and close friends and share great food and perhaps some libation. It’s a time to take a step back and appreciate everything about this life, since much of our time throughout the year, we are focused on the weight of our responsibilities, various aspects of drama and the clutter of life.

The holiday season is a time of tradition, the history of our own family and those who established the personal traditions we keep during this season. It’s a time to share great stories of those family members and friends who are no longer with us and relish those memories. I can still see my grandfather, Poppa Lou, sitting at the head of the dining room table in my childhood home, holding court and feasting on Christmas dinner. He loved to eat, lol! Those memories are vivid and powerful for me and we all have them.

Who’s your Poppa Lou?

Most importantly, this is a time when we continue those family traditions. It’s a time when, even if for a moment, we include those loved ones that have gone before us at our table. They started it all and we honor their memory by passing our traditions on to our children and grandchildren. It’s what binds us together and, arguably, it’s the only thing we leave behind when we are gone. Tradition, family and the love and commitment we have for each other. So, celebrate that during these holidays. Set aside all of life’s clutter and enjoy, no, absorb, these wonderful moments.

As a community, this is also a time when we witness extraordinary acts of kindness and sharing all around us. I could write pages of examples here, but I know you are aware of various opportunities in your life circles to help those not quite as fortunate. Clearly, you provide your support where you can because I see it throughout town. This benevolence is the foundation of our community…our Mullica Hill family. It’s why we all love this place. Thank you for that.

On behalf of the other members of Township Committee: Don Heim, Jeff Jacques, Julie DeLaurentis and John Williams (just appointed to Mr. Gangemi’s seat), I wish you and your family all possible blessings this holiday season.