MIDDLESEX, Conn. (WTNH) — It may not be the lighting of a Christmas tree or the singing of carols, but Gov. Ned Lamont continued a holiday tradition that has lasted more than 30 years.

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce’s December breakfast meeting has a long tradition of having an important guest.

“It started back with Gov. O’Neill in the late ’80s,” Chamber President Larry McHugh said. “Since that time, we’ve had the governor here every year for this annual December holiday function, which we run at the chamber.”

This year, Lamont laid out some plans to help businesses and business people.

“We’ve taken care of some of those bottlenecks, like to be able to show you that we’ve got free daycare and childcare to allow our moms and dads to get back to work,” Lamont said.

While having the governor speak at the breakfast is a longstanding holiday tradition, there was a new tradition started this year by Eversource CEO Joe Nolan. Eversource is the sponsor of the breakfast, and Nolan said he recently ran into Santa Claus. Nolan said he had a Christmas wish for Old Saint Nick.

“Because last Christmas I spent it in our control center because of an outage,” Nolan said. “So, I said ‘Santa! My only goal, Santa, is that I will not have to wear this parka in 2022’.”

His Christmas wish is for no more natural disaster. As for the disaster of the pandemic,r Lamont said high vaccination rates have things going in the right direction.

“We were one of the hardest-hit states in the country,” he said. “Then, every subsequent wave, we’ve done a little bit better.”

This means the economy and the business outlook are doing better, too.

“You know, viruses are infectious, but so is optimism,” Lamont said.

Optimism, after all, is what the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is all about.

“The ups and downs of COVID can cause havoc with everyone,” McHugh said. “So, we have to always think the cup is half full as we move forward.”

Which is a little easier, now that these breakfasts can happen in person again.