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Posted 12/14/11 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

The sights and sounds of the Christmas season are all around us. Homes are festively decorated with a Christmas tree and lights, stores are filled with all kinds of wonderful gift ideas, and music extolling the wonder of Christmas fills the airwaves.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time of the year when our hearts should be filled with joy and gladness. We should be enjoying all that is so very special about the Christmas season - the birth of Jesus, the shopping for gifts for everyone on our gift list, and taking part in holiday parties and enjoying the company of family and friends.
That is the way that Christmas is supposed to be.
For the majority of the people in McKenzie County, that is the way that Christmas has always been and will always be. But that is not the case for many people living in communities across McKenzie County. For them, this Christmas, like so many other past Christmases isn’t going to be as merry. For them, there won’t be special presents under the Christmas tree this year. And there won’t be a special Christmas meal.
While that may be hard to imagine for many of us, it is a reality.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and thanks to the efforts of the McKenzie County Social Services, as well as the McKenzie County Food Pantry, we can all help make this Christmas season a very special time for those in our communities less fortunate than us.
For the past several years, the Social Services office has sponsored the Giving Tree at the Watford City Post Office that contains ornaments filled with gift ideas for area children and adults who are in need this holiday season.
This year, as in past years, every ornament on the Giving Tree was taken in a matter of hours. It is indeed heartwarming to have so many caring people within our community willing to step forward and purchase those extra gifts to ensure there will be presents and toys under Christmas Trees that might have otherwise been bare. But taking care of those individuals represented on the Giving Tree is just the tip of the gifts that are needed this holiday season.
In addition to the support that we all give to the efforts of Social Services and the McKenzie County Food Pantry, we can also help brighten this holiday season by dropping a few dollars in the Salvation Army Kettle that is manned by local volunteers at Mike’s Super Valu and Jack & Jill.
We all have it in our power to help make this Christmas season a time of blessing and sharing and to bring smiles and cheer to the people that need it the most.
After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about.
If you would like to help make a difference this holiday season, contact the McKenzie County Social Services at 444-3661, the McKenzie County Food Pantry at 444-3451 or Barb Becker with the Salvation Army at 444-9220.