Slow down and enjoy the season

Friday, December 24, 2004

We've been rushing around so frantically, trying to get all the presents bought and wrapped and all the Christmas goodies made and decorated.

But now it's time to slow down, to mellow out. An appropriate turning point came Thursday morning when snow fell, gently blanketing the Great Plains with a glistening cover of white crystals.

It was a reminder to us. All the preparations are fine ... and they can be fun in the days leading up to Christmas. But, for the next three days -- Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Christmas Sunday -- we need to clear our minds of distractions, and concentrate on what's really important: our faith, our families and our friends.

In this season of miracles, we pray for the blessings of peace and love. May God's love touch our lives, and inspire us to reach out to others.

Christmas Services

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the churches of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas will be aglow with traditional Christmas observances. Elegant in their simplicity, the services take us back to the time of Christ's birth, reminding us of the glory and the greatness which arose from such humble beginnings.

Christmas hymns, candlelight and communion are shared in the celebrations, which are cherished because of the closeness and love which they inspire.

Whether you are a church member or not, you are welcome to join the celebrations, which start Christmas Eve (Friday) at 5, and continue at varying times throughout the evening, and resume Christmas morning.

Toy Box Giving

'Twas two days before Christmas and Santa Bill called to give a report on the widespread giving of this year's Toy Box project. In this -- the 38th year of the toy giveaway program -- Santa Bill Stewart reports that 750 gifts for children were distributed. This includes 200 wheeled toys -- bikes, wagons, trikes and scooters -- as well as 550 assorted toys and playthings of various kinds.

In addition, 200 Teddy bears were given to McCook elementary pupils in memory of Coach Ron Coleman.

Showing how widespread the program is, Santa Bill reported that gifts from the McCook Toy Box were shared with children from 11 counties in Nebraska, four counties in Kansas, two counties in Colorado, and one county each in Texas, Illinois and California.

Amazing, isn't it? When it comes to caring and sharing, the McCook Toy Box has few equals.

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