This weekend especially, a thank-you to all the volunteers – and specifically to those volunteers who coordinate things for all the other volunteers.

Isn’t that one of the most valuable things a citizen could do for a community? Accommodate giving and receiving?

It might seem a bit callous, but it’s true: most of us are willing to help ... if it’s convenient. There are reasons for that – we’re all busy all the time, we’re all trying to make ends meet, we’re all responsible for ourselves and our kids and our friends and neighbors ... still, we’re willing to serve in at least some small way (or to donate) if someone has coordinated things – secured a location, acquired the names of those to be helped, arranged for the handling of money and resources, set up a schedule ...

So hats off to the organizers of things ... such as Robin Burr, founder and chairperson of the annual Christmas Dinner for the Needy; or Angie and Dennise and the rest of the bunch who organize the SoYouCan deliveries; or the Elks and co-conspirators for the Thanksgiving Day meal deliveries ... the list is pretty impressive around here. Lots of needs; lots of volunteers; lots of opportunities for doing something worthwhile.

Really, what feels really good during the holidays is doing something for someone.

Giving gifts is OK. Best when it’s to someone who has very little. 

Cooking is fun. Best when it’s for people who haven’t enough to eat.

Donating is wonderful. Best is donating and showing up and helping.

If you get the opportunity to help, in whatever manner and at whatever scale, grab it.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

***

Thumbs Up: And a thank-you to all the people who have participated in our holiday feature stories. 

Our current management challenged us to see that all employees get the day off for Christmas (and again on New Year’s Day). It gets a little tricky, especially when the holiday is on a Monday. What this means is that both the Monday and the Tuesday papers must be printed on Sunday evening (delivery schedules are unchanged). Staff members have been working to finish up features ahead of time.

In Monday’s paper there will be a collection of vignettes of locals and their Christmas traditions. On Tuesday, there will be our second annual “Where’s That” photo contest. We hope it will be fun for readers who might prefer something a bit lighter for the holidays.

Our apologies for having a very light hard news and sports menu Monday and Tuesday. 

The schedule being what it is, we’ll be catching up on most of the news happening on the holiday in the Wednesday edition.

Thanks for your understanding.

***

Thumbs Up: Imitation. It’s the sincerest form of flattery, right? 

That should ring true for Yuba County people involved in moving the homeless into dwelling spaces, and, more particularly, those who thought up and executed the 14Forward program and it’s use of pre-fabricated tool sheds for temporary houses.

Hey, those little pre-fab houses aren’t much, but they have to be better than sleeping under a bush or on the river banks or an open field. And Yuba County provides a host of services to help move the users toward permanent housing. And they’re cheap.

The flattery comes as Oakland sent a delegation to Marysville to take a look at our project and that city is now implementing a very similar program to mitigate their homeless problem.

“We are glad to see, after Oakland’s visit to 14Forward, they were able to find the structure and support system useful,” said Robert Bendorf, Yuba County administrator.

“The creativity of our staff that went into 14Forward has not only produced good outcomes, but is proven to be a model that can be replicated by other jurisdictions. We wish Oakland the best in their efforts.”

***

Ugh: Here’s the Christmas collection:

Q: What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? 

A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.

Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? A: Claustrophobic.

Q: Why was Santa’s little helper depressed? A: Because he had low elf esteem.

Q: What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa? A: A rebel without a Claus.

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