’Tis the season for giving, and giving thanks

Published 10:36 am Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving is just days away. It is a wonderful American holiday.
Whatever your circumstances, whatever your politics, even if you’ve suffered a great loss this year, even if there’s an empty place at your Thanksgiving table, we hope you find something for which to be thankful this season.
Our community in Northeast Tennessee has been spared much for the devastation and destruction that many parts of the country have experienced this year — hurricanes and flooding, wildfires, mass shootings, etc. We have so much to be thankful for.
If you’re alone or you’re lacking the resources to prepare a Thanksgiving feast, we hope you will be able to make your way to one of the many Thanksgiving meals being offered in the region. Right here in Elizabethton, a free community Thanksgiving dinner is being served at First Baptist Church, 212 E. F St., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and if you’re alone or in need, you are more than welcome to be a part of this joyous event.
As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the Christmas season. Just as Thanksgiving is the season for giving thanks, Christmas is the season for giving. This week, the Johnson City Salvation Army unveiled its Christmas Angel Tree and began distributing angels for adoption this season.
The Angel Tree helps provides gifts for families in Carter and Washington counties who are experiencing economic hardships and are unable to provide their children with gifts and the opportunity to have a happy holiday season.
The Angel Tree is located at the Mall in Johnson City and is adorned with over 2,000 paper angels hanging from it, each with a name written on it, as well as gift suggestions.
Visitors to the Mall are asked to pick an angel from the tree, purchase the identified gift — ranging from toys, DVDs, pajamas, books, and other items — wrap them, and return them to the Mall. Many of the names on the tree are those of Carter County children.
Maybe you think it’s a little too early to be thinking about Christmas shopping and are bah-humbugging the overt displays of commercialism. It’s never too early to start thinking about giving those less fortunate a happy holiday.
The holidays are about giving, and giving thanks. They are about children and family. They are about sharing, about joy. They are about faith and appreciation, and alleviating suffering for others.
We have no shortage of things to be thankful for this holiday season. Also, opportunities for giving back will pop up all over this holiday season — from the Angel Tree to the red Salvation Army kettle. Each and every donation, from time to money, will be appreciated. Poverty is everywhere and it’s not going away. Elizabethton is a giving community, and today, as on every day, we are grateful to be a part of this amazing community.

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