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Time to start thinking about Christmas

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Despite a weekend of temperatures in the 60s, allowing us to think otherwise, Christmas is right around the corner.

Advertisements will soon be featuring holiday scenes, and the airwaves will be playing "Jingle Bells."

On the homefront, my mother is trying to figure out how to wrangle seven children, their spouses, all their children, and now their children's children, together for our annual holiday get-together. Soon, I'll be stocking up on pounds of butter, even more pounds of sugar, and twice that many pounds of chocolate for my Christmas goody baking marathon.

I've not starting "Making my list and checking it twice," although I know I need to get in gear if I have a chance of knocking all my holiday tasks off the to-do list.

One of the most important parts of my holiday, however, kicks off today. The annual Holiday Family Adoption Program begins with the first list of individual and family needs published here in the Daily Reporter.

The planning for this year's program began weeks ago, when Anita Jorgenson director of Upper Des Moines Opportunity and I got out the calendars, figured out the dates for the drop off of gifts, and she and her staff began the task of sending out letters to families and individuals in need of a little holiday cheer this Christmas season.

Upper Des Moines Opportunity is a vital link in all the holiday giving programs here in Clay County. The Holiday Family Adoption Program, Jaycees Tree of Joy, Kiwanis and other groups work with Upper Des Moines, which coordinates all those in need in Clay County and matches them (anonymously) with programs.

This cooperative effort means there's no duplication of services, and no one is left out.

The 25 families on the list today are just the first of many more which will be added through the weeks ahead. Generally, the program serves between 90-100 families every year. Each day in the Daily Reporter an updated list will be published, with new families added and those "adopted" taken off. Kathy Wolthuizen of our office is our very own "Santa's helper" taking charge of getting lists typed in, updated, and organized.

We couldn't do this without the enthusiastic support of the Spencer Volunteer firefighters, UPS, the Spencer Rotary Club, and so many of you who have made "adopting" a family a part of their own family's Christmas tradition. The Clay County Fair generously allows use of the The Depot building as a drop off site that's easy to find and easy to get to.

Take a look at the list in today's paper and please consider making the Holiday Family Adoption Program a part of your Christmas tradition as well. I guarantee it will be among the most important holiday shopping, wrapping and packing you do this year.

Paula Buenger