Thanksgiving is still a week away, but I'm already in the mood for the next big holiday.
I'm trying to stay focused on the turkey and giving thanks (that's next week's column), but it's tough.
I've been looking forward to Christmas for months. Blame it on the Barenaked Ladies. They've got a new CD, Barenaked for the Holidays, that's been in my stereo since the first week of October.
But it's about more than a few songs by my favorite band.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, a time that fills my heart with memories.
I remember driving to Union Point to my grandparents' farm, just to see that tree outside their house decorated with the huge colored lights. Inside was another tree, filled with glass birds clamped to the branches. And there were always stacks of presents underneath.
Or there were the years Boww and Nana came to Thomson on Christmas Eve to spend the night. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or my granddad. He'd usually wake up before me and be waiting when I strolled into the living room to unwrap my gifts.
In recent years, Christmas has become a time to see family members I don't get to see throughout the year, from my father-in-law to my "Aint Say."
I've still got a little more than a month left before Christmas. In between, we've got Turkey Day, the Festival off Main Street (and accompanying Christmas tree lighting ceremony and parade) various parties and holiday gatherings.
We've also got the opportunity to give. The McDuffie Mirror is kicking off its Angel Tree this week. The tree is in the lobby of our Magnolia Center office and is filled with the wish lists of boys and girls who need a little holiday cheer. Last year, we were able to give gifts -- ranging from clothes to bicycles -- to more than 30 children and we hope to do even more this year. Call Janet at 597-0335 or stop by our office to adopt an angel and make a child smile for Christmas.
And, let me take it one step further, if you don't want to take an angel from The Mirror's tree, at least find something worthwhile to help out with this holiday season. MANNA, Agape, Partners for Success, the Kiwanis Club, the Salvation Army and countless other groups also are looking for help this season. It doesn't take much to help.
And while I'm on the subject of giving, the United Way fundraising effort is in full swing. Charlie Bellman is putting much sweat-equity in to this year's drive and is a great spokesman for the charity. You can reach Charlie at 597-8373 and make a donation. They've got a little more than 20 percent of their $90,000 goal already and have about a month left to raise the rest. I'm pretty confident McDuffie County can meet and beat that goal. All you have to do is give.