AS I SEE IT
By Neal A. Shipman
The sights and sounds of the Christmas season are all around us. Homes are festively decorated with a Christmas tree and lights, the city’s retail 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. And it is the time of the year when we should be enjoying all that is so very special about the Christmas season - celebrating the birth of Jesus, shopping for gifts for everyone on our gift list, and taking part in holiday parties and enjoying the company of family and friends.
For the majority of the people in McKenzie County, that is the way that Christmas has always been and will always be.
But unfortunately, 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. Many people left everything that they had to move to McKenzie County in search of a new and better life working in the state’s oil patch. Some of those that came have survived and thrived. Unfortunately, some have been met with misfortune and struggle.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Thanks to the efforts of the McKenzie County Social Services, the McKenzie County Food Pantry, the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry, The Salvation Army, the Blue Santas, the Watford City Eagles Auxiliary, as well as many other local organizations, 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, Giving Trees have been placed throughout Watford City which contain ornaments filled with gift ideas for area children and adults who are in need this holiday season.
This year, as in past years, 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 or by donating a gift to the Blue Santas.
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.