Tis the season for joy

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
If you aren't in the Christmas spirit after the activities held in Atmore this weekend, then chances are, you may be a scrooge.
I had the privilege to have breakfast with some very special people Saturday morning at the American Legion.
Three families were there for Breakfast with Santa. They had been chosen to come because their mother or father was away in Iraq or another country serving in the military and will not be home for Christmas.
Of course, as with any child, the children were excited to see Santa and have the opportunity to sit on his lap and then find their name on his naughty or nice list.
There was not a dry eye in the Legion when the children tore open their gifts and squealed with delight when they realized that it was actually something they had asked for.
For me, watching the expressions of the veterans as the children unwrapped their presents was priceless. You could see the joy and compassion these men had for the children. They know firsthand from experience what it is like to miss a family Christmas while serving in the military.
Talking with the parents was another blessing. So often we get caught up in our own little world and tend to forget what other people may be going through such as Barbara Whatley who was there with her two daughters, Marina and Ariel. Her husband and their father is currently serving in Iraq and will not be home for Christmas.
Whatley and her children touched everyone in the room as they talked about their family and Christmas.
Christmas came early for everyone present at Saturday's breakfast, not just the children.
Later that day, I loaded more than 5,000 pieces of candy and myself onto a Christmas float that we made for the newspaper.
There is absolutely no better way to get in the spirit than to ride on the back of a float in 40- degree weather with Christmas tunes blaring along as hundreds of people scream for candy.
Our float was to be a depiction of the Christmas movie "Winter Wonderland". Which I think we pulled off fairly well being that we didn't start building it until Thursday night!
We filled our trailer with 21 Christmas trees of all sizes all decorated with white lights and snowflakes. Our children as well as myself were all bundled up in hats, scarfs and blankets making it look a bit more realistic.
We played an hour;s worth of the song "Walking in a winter wonderland" which really kept the spirit going until of course, that hour was up but the parade wasn't. Folks who saw us on the last leg of Lindberg Avenue got a real musical treat when my son's Hank Williams, Jr CD started playing!
After I thawed out, I made my way back to town Sunday for the Christmas in the South Tour of Homes. This was a perfect way to end the weekend and get the Christmas spirit going.
I was only able to make it to three out of the five homes on the tour, but the ladies did a fabulous job with their decorations and hopefully helped raise a lot of money for a good cause.
Janet Little Cooper is editor of the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.

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