-Tis the Season to be giving.
I was negligent in my Angel Tree promotion duties this year, but The Mirror was still able to help more than a dozen kids in our community.
But it wouldn't have been possible without the youth group from Thomson's First Methodist Church. Youth Minister Matt Funk called our office a few weeks ago, and the church's youth would take all the angels we could offer.
He came by, got the list and then took the church youth shopping. A few days later, Matt was back - a truckload of gifts in tow.
Some of the youth that took their time and money for our Angel Tree are: Josh Wright, Andrew Hyman, Jackson Reddick, Buchanan Cowart, Mary Ashley Gibson, Molly Dwyer, Mary Catherine Finnerty, Casey Brooks, Taylor Marler, Rhett Hinesley, Lauren Foster, Sara Swan, Maggie Burch, Leah Foster and Will Swan. (I know the list isn't complete, but it's a start)
And those First Methodist kids weren't alone.
Carter, Camm, Courtney and Bo - with Tina Swann doing the chauffeuring - stopped by the office last week, selling cookies and other sweets in hopes of raising money to help a local needy family.
The kids knew they were doing something special and even wore a couple of Santa hats to top off their day. Their enthusiasm for giving provides a great example of what the holidays should be about.
Speaking of giving, it was great to see all the folks dropping dollars and cents in the red bucket outside Wal-Mart last week.
In what has become an annual event for me, I stood in the wind and rain (OK, actually I was under the shelter at Wal-Mart's garden center) and jingled a brass bell to help raise money for the Salvation Army last Friday.
The best part was the smiles and holiday well-wishes from all the shoppers - despite the miserable weather.
Ringing the Salvation Army bell is truly one of my favorite holiday activities. It's a wonderful way to spend part of a morning, and it benefits a great charity.
I got another holiday favorite Friday: Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin's annual press release announcement of a special 24-hour permit for flying reindeer.
"After consulting with our state veterinarian, Dr. Lee Myers, I concluded these reindeer did not pose any threat to Georgia agriculture or violate any of our biosecurity measures to keep out animal diseases," said Commissioner Irvin in the press release. "As it was explained to me, these reindeer will be moving quickly, will only prance and paw on rooftops and will not be intermingling with any livestock in Georgia."
Dr. Myers also gets in on the act.
"Usually, few creatures are stirring that night," added Dr. Myers. "Not even a mouse."
For the record, the permit was issued to a Mr. "Kris Kringle," and it covered nine reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph.
See, even government folks aren't immune from the holiday spirit.