With it now the first week of January, the holiday season is officially over. No more hustle and bustle of travelling here and there, rearranging that silly elf on the shelf for the kids, or having to run to the store at the very last minute to buy that gift card for the cousin you just happened to forget about.
Yes, the Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ New Year Holidays are over, and we can now all breathe again.
We can go back to the way life was before the holiday trinity snuck up on us.
That sounds pretty good, right?
We can all go back to worrying about ourselves in this ‘all about me’ society we live in today.
Hey, we are all guilty of feeling that way, myself included, but just hear me out.
It’s not a secret that one of our community’s biggest and one of the longest-running local Christmas time charities suspended operations, leaving many to wonder where their child’s/ children’s Christmas would come from.
Yes, that was a sad situation, but the story of our local children’s Christmas could have ended there.
Since that occurred, many other individuals, organizations, churches, businesses and so forth, banded together to ensure that no child would have a blue Christmas.
Let’s begin with the annual Reelfoot Rural Ministries Toy Store over in Obion County in Elbridge. Over 1,300 children in their service area were served, with almost half (roughly 600) of the children served living in Dyer County.
Let that sink in for a moment. 600 Dyer County children received Christmas from RRM.
No organization could accomplish that feat alone, as many local businesses and organizations donated to that particular cause, Forcum Lannom, Dyersburg State Community College, the Animal Hospital, and the Barely Legal Automotive Enthusiasts Car Club donated toys to RRM.
Many locals also aided in the Matthew 25:40 toy and food drive, which served over 200 children this holiday season. Aiding with Matthew 25:40, according to posts online, were White and Associates, Family Practice Clinic, MidSouth Riders, First Christian Church, C & C Pharmacy, and Barely Legal Automotive Enthusiasts.
The Dyersburg Breakfast Rotary Club supplied Christmas to approximately 85 New Life Union Mission Children.
Even the mission held its own toy drive, assisting 446 children through partnered efforts with First United Methodist Church-Ripley Men’s Ministry, Breakfast Rotary, Noon Rotary, Trinity Marine, MidSouth Riders, and Katilyn’s Angel Tree, and many more.
The annual Sorghum Valley Christmas Village drew in 3,000 guests, who in turn, donated 2,500 items in food donations, 100 lbs. in pet food, approximately 40 coats for children participating in the State Gazette’s ‘Coats for Kids’ program, and a vast assortment of toys and clothing that was to be distributed the Salvation Army and the Dyersburg Breakfast Rotary Club.
Alvino’s Pizza downtown Dyersburg began a toy and clothes drive in early November, which ran until mid-December.
Then, there were locals who not only wanted to help aid children within our area, but also to spread Christmas joy around the world.
Operation Christmas Child celebrated its most successful year in Dyer County, packing and sending off 4,300 shoeboxes full of gifts to be shipped to children in other countries.
Local organizations and schools also held food and coat drives for area children throughout the holiday season.
Not only were local children given a wonderful Christmas, but there were organizations that also sent goody bags and books to those in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
The Kiwanis Goodfellows annual Christmas project backed boxes for 456 families in the Dyersburg/ Dyer County area. Helping out were roughly 75 community members, the DHS and DCHS baseball teams, Key Club members, and bank employees.
Those are just the ones that I personally know about since they were reported to the State Gazette. I have a great feeling inside of me that there were more displays of love and generosity over the holidays that went unreported.
For everyone who banded together to ensure that our local Children enjoyed Christmas, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for showing love.
Thank you for stepping up.
Thank you for putting someone else first.
However, my question is, why not display those traits everyday and not just during the holiday season? Just because it is a new year, do we go back and only think of ourselves until the holidays roll back around?
Now, I’m not implying anyone go out and take care of everyone for an entire year, but the same love and compassion that one shows during the holidays, can we carry that with us for the rest of the year?
Can we not be so heavily ‘me-oriented’ from January through October?
Can we offer a kind word to someone or lend a helping hand more often?
Can we love with a heart that our Savior Jesus Christ wants us to and be more of a servant daily?
Those that live in Dyer County have overwhelmingly shown that when someone is in need, they will put their big, loving, generous hearts on display to aid in helping those who are less fortunate locally and around the world. No, technically, I am not a Dyer Countian, but I will say how proud I am to work and be around so many wonderful and caring people in the community on a daily basis.
My challenge to all of you, and myself included, is to display your holiday spirit every day of this year. Not to think about ‘me’ so much, and try more to love one another.