Shopping styles have changed a lot for everyone ever since we have to deal with COVID-19 constantly as we go about our lives .Shopping for our daily needs as well as for special occasions take more into prominence now that the Christmas shopping season is already here.

Economically, COVID-19 had hurt the retail and non-essential services sector gravely. These businesses have now returned but to a limited capacity due to COVID-19 safety precautions. They lost a lot of revenue from decreased consumer spending and are aching to recover fast. The Christmas profit represents 25% of yearly profit. If they do not make it, they will close by the end of this year.

As these retail folks said in 1 battle cry: “We Need This!

Please support the retail business through responsible shopping. Support especially your local businesses as much as possible because they also pay local taxes which help support funding in services and infrastructure in your local community. Whether it is a gift basket or even a gift card through online shopping or even dropping by a physical store, it can make a big difference. Also, these retail folks could be your friend or neighbor supporting themselves and their families as well.

Shop till you drop as they say but do it well and carefully.

I personally will still celebrate Christmas this year (2020) and I will definitely shop for Christmas because I will not let COVID-19 steal my thunder nor rain on my parade.

We can do this, folks!!!!

Josie

Dear Mr. Alex Trebek,

I heard yesterday about your passing. This made me feel quite sad since I had always enjoyed watching your game show “Jeopardy” through the years. My knowledge of trivia has increased from all the questions you gave out to the contestants.

It was an amazing fact that you had hosted “Jeopardy” for 36 seasons which made you a legendary host by reputation.

You may have become an American institution but you never forgot your Canadian roots.

You are a class act of a person whether on-screen or off-screen.

Whoever will replace you as host of “Jeopardy” has huge shoes to fill.

May you rest in peace and I wish you well in your journey to the afterlife.

Sincerely from your fellow Canuck,

Josie

Dear Sir/Madam Editor,

It is me again! I had sent you a letter last Sept.10,2020 regarding the possible choice of Time Person of the Year 2020. I had mentioned COVID-19 as a non-human choice and the frontline health workers as the human choice for the honor.

In this very unpredictable pandemic year, I am writing to you again regarding suggesting possible equal billing for the title of Time Person of the Year.

This time, I would like to nominate the American citizens who have exercised their right to suffrage as well as the employees of each American state electoral agencies in making democracy possible by counting every ballot submitted in .

As they say in their constitution,”We the people,” “The people have spoken”.

The United States is known worldwide as the bedrock of democracy and not that of dictatorship. It carries the gold standard for freedom for other countries to emulate.

I rest my case,Sir/Madam Editor.

May you enjoy the rest of this very challenging year as well as the upcoming Yuletide season.

Sincerely,

Josie

Sir Sean Connery, a well-known Hollywood actor and Oscar winner of Scottish origin has died today–Halloween Day at age 90, leaving behind a long list of film achievements . However, he will always be known as the First James Bond, an MI6 agent (aka Agent 007)who served at the pleasure of the Queen of England’s Secret Service detail.

He gained international stardom as James Bond, the ultimate professional spy who always gets the fanciest and high-tech gadgets(courtesy of the scientist Q) to fight off enemies, with a license to kill ,do not forget that too. This explains why he was called the international man of mystery.

He gets to travel all around the world by plane,jets and on the ground with whatever means possible. There will always be however that dependable car of his–the Aston Martin.

Being the ultimate man’s man as well as a ladies man, he gets to wine , dine and romance all the lovely ladies during his espionage work but he can always depend on his boss’ secretary Miss Moneypenny (with whom he has a faux love-hate relationship) for added assistance.

Thank you for entertaining us all these years, Sir Sean and rest assured that the enigma and allure of James Bond will always prevail. You had set a gold standard for all your successors to emulate.

I can imagine seeing them now all dressed up in their best tuxedos (your standard evening wear) ,handsome and dapper, raising their glasses of vodka martini (shaken, not stirred as you would have liked it that way) towards the sky as a salute to you as you head towards the heavens. You can also hear the tune of the usual James Bond music theme on the backdrop as well.

And before I forget, one of your successors Sir Roger Moore who had left for the journey to the afterlife ahead of you will probably meet you there and talk of good old times.

Godspeed!

Josie

Black Lives matter. It also encompasses racial equality. Same with gender equality( my hat off to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg aka RBG. )

As I played Marvin Gaye’s epic song–What’s Going On, I could not help but think how prophetic the lyrics are.To attain rights and equality is a constant struggle. Sometimes it can lead to paying the ultimate price to get it.

Let us not take things for granted and hopefully come to a peaceful resolution as well as conversation regarding society’s issues.

In this way, we do not become clueless and as the song title states–What’s Going On ? doesn’t stick to us like glue.

Josie

Dear Time Magazine Editor(Sir/Madam)

Near the end of every year, Time Magazine usually chooses among a list of prospective nominees that would be given the title of Time Person of the Year.

That person would be deemed as someone who had influenced society and had left a lasting impact for mankind.

For this year 2020, in my own humble opinion, Sir/Madam Editor, I truly and strongly believe that this year’s Time Person of the Year is not human but a microbe,specifically a virus—-Coronavirus Disease 2019 or aka COVID-19.

It has been with us for almost the entire year and is still ongoing. Worldwide, lifestyle changes are still ongoing and we all keep second-guessing as to how to outwit it so as to survive its deadly sting.

COVID-19 is so powerful that it does not play favorites. Everyone is affected in some way,no exceptions.

But if Sir/Madam Editor,you still would prefer a human nominee, I would recommend the frontline,essential healthcare workers worldwide.

Thank you so much for your time and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Josie

As we now start the final one-third of 2020,here are my thoughts.

As I see all these lifestyle changes around us in this pandemic year and how it had changed, even permanently at times how we live our lives whether personal or work-wise, I can say this.

Life will never be the same not only in this pandemic year(2020) but hence forth. Life before COVID-19 will never come back,in my opinion.

It is the new normal,folks.

This pandemic happened for a reason. As to what it is, we may know not necessarily now but in the coming days. It is basically a God only knows situation as I see it.

It will be interesting to see how our thoughts of 2020 would be come New Year’s Eve.

Josie

On Aug.4,2020, the people of Lebanon had experienced a massive explosion which practically destroyed a great part of their nation’s capital–Beirut.

The cause of this is due to igniting the flames coming from contact with tons of fertilizer stored in a designated storage facilty.

Whether the cause is carelessness or criminal in nature, it has yet to be determined and I hope that an intensive and impartial investigation be implemented in this Middle Eastern country that used to be a former French colony.

In my opinion, the Lebanese folks had already a lot on their plate to deal with—COVID-19, a struggling economy and societal graft & corruption.

My prayers and thoughts go out to all the people in Lebanon.

May justice prevail!

Josie

The facial mask is the latest fashion accessory now deemed as part of essential attire in this pandemic year. Another option would be a plastic facial shield.

As we go about our daily lives dealing with COVID-19 and with all the prodding from health and even govt officials to make us aware of the importance of wearing masks, here is what I have to say:

If you are fashion conscious, masks are now available in all sorts of colors and designs. You can even make one yourself either by simple hand sewing or by sewing machine if you so choose.

If you are cost-conscious,making or buying rewashable cloth masks are a good option if the disposable type is not your thing.

Now if cost is not a problem for you and if you are concerned about germs, then the disposable type is your best bet.

There is no excuse not to mask up. Your life depends on it.

It is much easier to wear one and go about your daily life than to be attached to a respirator. Then your quality of life will really suck.

Wearing a mask does not even involve politics nor tauntings from ignorant folks who should know better.

If you get sick with COVID-19, that is it. No one can help you except yourself. If you do get over it, thank God.

But why go through that ,anyway?

Just mask up and say a prayer that all of this will pass as well.

I rest my case.

Josie

With the recent weddings of Princess Beatrice of England last July 17 and one of my nieces last July 11,both held this year 2020, I could not help but notice striking similarities between these 2 weddings.

Both of them had original wedding dates but had to be postponed to later dates as well as replanning all the wedding details and implement health safety protocols in light of COVID-19.

Paring down the guest lists(including wedding party) to no more than 50,social distancing, using face masks and shields as need be,etc.

Yet overall, both weddings came out in its simplified form as elegant,memorable and unique for each wedding couple.

Even before formalizing their wedding vows, both couples had already started adjusting as to how they should carry out their respective celebrations of love so as to make it happen at all in this era of COVID-19.

That,my friends,is how married life is already. Love,compromise and adjustment in this everyday reality, we call life.

My heartfelt congratulations to not only my niece and Princess Beatrice but to everyone else who are taking the plunge this 2020!

Not even COVID-19 can stop the wedding celebrations.

My utmost thanks to a small family business based in Dundee Scotland —MadeAt94(www.madeat94.com) to making my wedding and engagement gifts for my niece and her new husband. This company can be seen also on Facebook and on Instagram.

Suffice to say that the newlyweds LOVED the gifts!

Josie