The M&M area deserves accolades for the holiday cheer and joyful moments its caring people brought to hundreds of children, teenagers, adults and families as a whole. We couldn’t begin to list all the families, individuals, organizations, church groups and school children who made it a bright and cheery Christmas season. 

Food, clothing, toys and in come cases, household goods were distributed. Some received cash so they could do their own shopping. 

How about the magnificent contributions of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army for their work? Hundreds of volunteers joined organization leaders and staff to spread joy over the holiday festivities. Church groups pitched in to make sure their flocks and others were cared for. 

We can’t resist giving a jumbo-sized “thumbs up” to school children who visited nursing homes, retirement homes, hospitals and other facilities of a similar nature to put sparkle in the eyes of appreciative benefactors. They sang Christmas carols, brought cookies and candy, played games and helped older folks make holiday crafts. The children came from elementary schools, junior high high school and high school. Some high school students hosted holiday open houses with food, refreshments, games and prizes. 

The happy environment extended to neighborhoods where homes were decorated with tidings of great joy. We can only imagine the many hours it took to lay out a plan for the decorating process and then going through the motions to get the job done. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. 

A tip of the hat, too, to public employees who decorated the villages, towns, cities and county property in our area. Visitors passing though our area had to be impressed with he spirit of the holiday season anchored in our communities.