2016-12-21 / Columns

Mountain Musings

by Kate Evans

Spread Christmas joy

The year has flown by and another Christmas season is upon us. The sights and sounds of the holidays are everywhere-the wafting smells of fresh-baked cookies and the music of Christmas carols fill shops and homes. Twinkling nighttime light displays, holiday wreaths and red bows and garlands decorate streets and windows and the spirit of Christmas fills the hearts of many.

Different traditions abound in families for the holiday season but there are always get-togethers, shopping runs, feast preparations and dessert-baking where young and old can share time and memories of Christmas past.

Some folks will have a tough time this season missing loved ones that have gone on from this world. Others may be struggling with ways to provide food and gifts for their family or be far from home in the armed forces or by themselves with no one nearby with which to spend Christmas.

Each of us can make the holidays a little better for others by spreading some Christmas cheer and giving to the less fortunate.

Help by donating non-perishable food items or money to the Starting Points Mealtime Community Kitchen, the Morgan County Interfaith Emergency Care (MCIEC) food pantry or the Morgan County Backpacks program.

Give to the Great Cacapon community food drive and church collection for the needy. Donate gently used clothing, blankets and coats for local residents and give used toys and children’s books that are in good condition to Toys for Tots.

Take dog and cat food, toys, blankets and other animal supplies to the Humane Society of Morgan County or the Morgan County Animal Control shelter. Give one of their animals a home if you can.

Make Christmas cards for nursing home residents, hospitalized veterans, local servicemen stationed overseas and ailing neighbors or church members. Bake extra holiday goodies and take them to those that are in need of cheer.

Start a new family tradition of Christmas caroling at the nursing home or the hospital, serving food at a pantry or shelter’s holiday feast or making Christmas crafts for seniors.

Design an old-fashioned pine cone holiday wreath, make paper snowflakes, decorate gingerbread houses or create suet and seed ornaments to delight little birdie friends.

Call family members over the holidays that you haven’t talked to in eons. Go sledding or ice skating or take the family to visit holiday train displays.

Do small acts of kindness-praise a cashier for their help, compliment a colleague on their new sweater or smile and say hello to a passerby on the street.

Watch Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and Scrooge and Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol" with family members. Howl at Chevy Chase and the Griswold family antics in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.”

Hold fast to peace on earth, good will among men and hope for the future. While these may be anxious times, always remember that there are so many good people in this world that are full of kindness, love, compassion and understanding.

Make way for the New Year and be sure to take good care of yourself in the coming year!

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