No-one would dispute the past 12 months have been pretty confronting; horrific bushfires coming on the back of the worst drought in living memory, followed by a world-wide pandemic.
However, joy is just a heart-beat away as families count down to an - albeit - different, but much loved festive season.
Forster Tuncurry Business Chamber is teaming up with Forster Tuncurry Quota to raise the spirit of Christmas throughout the community inviting all local business operators and retailers to dress up their outlets.
Dressing-up and decorating shop windows for Christmas enhances the festive spirit of this important retail period, chamber president, Megan Lewis said.
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During the past week a team of Quota members has been visiting business outlets with an invitation to embrace the spirit of Christmas and take part in the inaugural Creative Christmas competition.
"We want to help raise the spirits of the people and community," Creative Christmas team-member, Nerelle Duff said.
Mrs Duff is encouraging businesses to let their imaginations run beyond the odd bauble and tinsel.
"Shops could create a Christmas tree using goods that are sold in the shops or business, or decorate a traditional tree if they wish with quirky embellishments," she said.
We want to help raise the spirits of the people and community.Nerelle Duff
Decorations could be as simple as toothbrushes (for a dentist or pharmacy), tyres in the shape of a tree, inflated plastic gloves for a doctor's surgery; wherever your imagination takes you.
At the same time voters have the chance to win one of 10, $50 #ShopMidCoast gift cards for voting for your favourite display, while the winning business will win $1000 to donate to either Great Lakes Women's Shelter, Homebase Youth Services or Great Lakes Palliative Care.
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"Customers will be asked to vote for their favourite, and the tree with the most votes will win $1000 to donate to one local not for profit organisation," Mrs Duff said.
"Soon Quotarians will be visiting all the shops; we have photos of ideas to share and we know everyone loves a Christmas tree so help us make this Christmas special and full of fun by making a tree your customers will find exciting.
"Look out for our beautiful blue shirts."
The competition will be drawn on December 15.
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