Around Trinidad Helping Heat Their Homes
Backyard Vacation Now this is Hospitality!
Fresh Air Recycled Treasures: Holiday Contest
Hot Tips Winter Tips for Skincare
The College Spot TSJC Entertains You!
Pg.7 Sports Part of a Team that Wins Pg.9 Horoscopes Pg.11
Hall of Fame Local Customers
Healthy Living Come Back to Wholeness & Health
Cover Story The Magic of Christmas
Business Spotlight Be Beautiful & Buy Presents
Paw News Make this a Special Pawliday
Art and Music Capturing Magical Moments
Education Innovative Minds Blossom at a World of Discovery
Government A Positive Direction
Trinidad Treasures Mary of the Nativity
A Word from the Editor… Perhaps?
The Christmas season is upon us and we are hustling and bustling about, preparing for the holiday. We at Around Trinidad encourage you to take time to enjoy the music, the children, the laughter, and the kindness and humanity that abounds this time of year. Perhaps the Grinch said it best when he said, “It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!” Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” (Dr. Seuss –How the Grinch Stole Christmas) E.R.A McCarthey
Our Mission… Around Trinidad is focused on bringing the community together and building relationships with the people, the businesses, organizations, government, educational institutions and the community as a whole. Our focus is to provide local information so our residents can rediscover their hometown and visitors can see it SHINE!
About US… Everything AroundUS and Merged Media, the parent companies of Around Trinidad, can help with internet strategies such as customized website design, traffic, search engine optimization, articles, banners, links, and web site validation. We also offer traditional marketing services such as branding, product design, print media, audio and video. Our companies offer more opportunities for local businesses by promoting events and social activities in the community. We take the world around us and bring it to you! Everything AroundUS pushes social networking to the next level by using our platform to promote businesses with giveaways, social activities and exciting events! Our team merges the virtual elements of social networking with traditional promotions to give businesses the ultimate marketing experience. Everything AroundUS brings the community together and builds value for local businesses and services by helping people access everything the area has to offer. We use the power of one communication platform to highlight the fun and excitement around us.
AROUND TRINIDAD CREDITS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/OWNER E.R.A. McCarthey ART & DESIGN DIRECTOR/OWNER Jay Martinez EXECUTIVE MANAGING EDITOR Marty Hackett FEATURES DIRECTOR David J. Santistevan Jr. Around Trinidad has been funded by Merged Media and Everything AroundUS. It was built by Jay Martinez, E.R.A. McCarthey, David J. Santistevan Jr., Marty Hackett and many lovely people in the Trinidad Community.
Helping Heat Their Homes By Marty Hackett When the winter months arrive and utility bills increase as temperatures decrease, many seniors struggle with the complex decision of how to buy groceries, cover medical expenses and medications, and pay their utility bills.
“Our nation is facing complex energy issues that are not easy to solve. These issues along with a growing energy demand and our economic crisis affect the consumer’s costs. We recognize the hardship this places on those with limited resources, and to assist the seniors of Las Animas County, we have worked with local organizations to design a program to get help to those that will need it most this winter,” said Tom Sheffield, VicePresident of Pioneer’s Rockies Asset Team. Since 2004, Pioneer Natural Resources has been helping Las Animas County seniors stay warm through the winter. For the eighth year in a row, they will once again team up with South Central Council of Governments who administers the Gas Assistance Program (GAP) to eligible seniors.
The grants that Pioneer has been providing have totaled more than $1,804.000 in aid helping more than 1,000 qualifying seniors in the area. The GAP grants have varied over the years with what began in 2004 as a $30,000 grant increasing to as much as $250,000 in 2007. Stevie Medina, the Housing Rehabilitation and Energy Resources Director at SCCOG knows firsthand how appreciative the seniors who have received assistance can be as he assists them with filling out applications and listens to the stories told of the hardships faced. He understands that a tough economic climate can cause many people, especially seniors on a fixed income, to fall behind on their financial obligations. Applicants for the GAP must be residents of Las Animas County and be 55 years of age or older. They must then complete an application form and provide a copy of their utility statement and other necessary documents. Utility service must be located in Las Animas County and can include fuel types such as propane, wood pellets and wood, electric heat and natural gas. Most vendors provid-
ing fuels in Las Animas County have participated in the program. GAP will pay 50% of remaining costs after other assistance related to heating have been applied for, including Colorado LEAP. Assistance will be awarded over the six-month period based on need, and applicants may reapply each month to receive ongoing assistance until the maximum benefit of $1,000 per household is met. The program will continue until April 30, 2013, or until funds are depleted.
To apply or for additional information, contact SCCOG at 719-845-1133 Ext. 212 or visit their office at 300 Bonaventure Ave. Bring a picture ID and proof of income plus your current utility bill.
BACKYARD VACATION Now This Is Hospitality!
Royse Ranch Bed and Breakfast By E.R.A. McCarthey If you need a getaway where you’ll be pampered, enjoy amazing food, and have lots of fun then a visit to the Royse Ranch Bed and Breakfast is perfect for you. The ranch used to belong to the Colts but back in July Jim and Marsha Royse purchased it. Marsha explained that she and her husband stopped in Trinidad and were attracted to all the ideals and dedicated movements going on about town. They looked around a bit and then settled on the Colt Ranch as the perfect spot to establish their bed and breakfast. The Royse couple originates from a small town in Texas and feels right at home here in Trinidad. Jim and Marsha come from cattle people and are of hardworking stock. Marsha says that she made a box cake mix once and her grandma gave her an ear full. This resulted in something wonderful for any Royse Ranch guest. Marsha makes everything from scratch - breads, cakes, desserts. She is a down-home cook using fresh ingredients and “Texas-sized” portions. The rib eye steaks are huge and cooked perfectly! If you can only get away for an evening, the Royse couple will serve you a delicious dinner as long as you call ahead and make arrangements. The Royse Ranch sits on 240 acres which include part of old Primero. The couple encourages visitors to go explore and take any cool artifacts they dig up back home for souvenirs. They are animal
friendly and encourage bringing your horse for exploring, but allow no animals in the main or carriage houses. Arrangements can be made if you call. You can also have Marsha set-up something wonderful for any special event such as a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon. If you want privacy, Marsha and Jim keep to themselves but supply you with everything you could want, even wine and candles at the hot tub or a tiny rocking chair and tasty snack for your little one. However, if you feel like being social, the couple are delightful and have some great stories to share.
THINGS to Do… ______________________________
You can find more information at
Start your Christmas shopping this evening as you stroll through the Gallery Main of the Trinidad Area Arts Council’s 7th Annual Christmas Mercado. Area artists have displayed their finest for your gift-giving pleasure. Support your local artists by giving the labor of love. Reception open to the public Dec. 7 6:30-8:30 p.m. 130 E. Main St.
The Christmas Critter Show at the Corazon Gallery will continue until Dec. 28. This annual holiday art show will feature local artists highlighting “critters” of their choice. 149 E. Main St. Info. 719-859-7702 Another great place to shop is the Trinidad History Museum Bookstore which is open through Dec. 23rd Mon-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 719-846-7217 The History Museum will also be sponsoring a Gingerbread House Contest and Bloom Open House on Sat. Dec. 8th 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Call for info 846-7217 Music anyone? - The Trinidad Community Chorale will be performing “A Ceremony of Carols at the First Methodist Church on Dec. 9 and will feature Bill Bumstead & Duane Zanotelli, Directors and Amy Wilson and Addie Segers Accompanists. No admission charge. 216 Bloom St. beginning at 7 p.m. The Trinidad Children’s Chorale will present their 11th Annual Christmas Program at the Trinidad Middle School Auditorium on Dec. 12. For information contact Connie Pallone at Pallone@q.com Hometown Holidays Festival of Trees will continue until December 25. Theme decorated trees are displayed in various businesses in Trinidad. Take a stroll and view these splendid holiday decorations. For info, call Christina at 719-680-9878. Bring your family down to Commercial St. on Friday, Dec. 7th from 5:30- 7 p.m.and enjoy the re-creation of Joseph and Mary’s trip to Bethlehem, “Las Posadas” presented by The Trinidad - Las Animas County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The Rules 1.
Recycled Treasures Around Trinidad Holiday Contest
Get together your family and friends and have them help you explore town for cool finds to turn into recycled holiday decorations.
The Categories 1. 2. 3.
Holiday Ornament Holiday Table Setting Holiday Wreath
40% of your creation must be recycled or found outside. This would include but is not limited to bottles, paper trash, leaves, branches, flowers, fruit, plastic, anything cool laying around outside that no one wants. If you use a flower, plant or other similar item you must have the property owner’s permission. Don’t grab an apple that’s not yours. One prize per category. If you enter the contest as a group you will have to share the prize fairly among yourselves. Get outside and have FUN!
Submit your photos to Around Trinidad by Tuesday, December 11th. You can email them to email@example.com or mail them to 1513 Arizona Ave, Trinidad, Colorado 81082.
LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES – Deadline December 11th 2012
TCF Announcement: “The Trinidad Community Foundation is accepting grant applications through 4:00 p.m. December 31. The grants are open to non-profit organizations and applications are available upon request to firstname.lastname@example.org”
BE HEARD Around Trinidad was created to feature the people, places, and events of Trinidad and the surrounding areas. Be Heard is our section to feature stories and announcements sent to us. In this section you can announce births, engagements, marriages, loss of loved ones, family reunions, anything YOU feel is important. You can email your news to info@ aroundtrinidad.com or mail it to 1513 Arizona Ave, Trinidad CO 81082. Include photos if you like. If you have ideas for our “Hall of Fame,” “Business Spotlight,” or any other section send those to us as well. Please login to our website and use the free platform; we created for you. Thank you for making Around Trinidad a positive and exciting highlight of our community.
eauty B d HOT STIPS n a tyle
Winter Tips for Skincare By Heather Massena
The season’s beauty vampires--biting winds, steamy showers, dipping temps, and drying indoor heat--can suck the life right out of your skin and hair. Luckily, we have easy advice for soothing your thirstiest parts, from scalp to soles. Here’s 8 friendly tips to help keep your skin beautiful and healthy during the harsh winter months.
Dehydrated skin cells turn over more slowly, causing a buildup of dead skin, which hinders light reflection. Circulation also gets sluggish—and just like that, your glow is gone and fine lines look more pronounced. Soothing Solution: Bolster your beauty from the inside out by drinking lots of water and loading up on omega-3s. Protective face balms are a musthave for the winter season. These creams insulate the skin, which is key when you’re constantly going between the cold outside and the drying heat indoors.
If we were to personify winter worn hair, we’d probably describe it as dull, depressed, and apathetic. Plus, dry-hair side effects such as static cling make it extra hard to manage. Soothing Solution: Conditioner! It should include silicones to lock down the outer cuticle layer and seal in moisture. Equally important are quaternary ammonium compounds (“quats”), which leave hair soft and silky, and neutralize the static electricity that causes flyaways.
Dry, Itchy Scalp
White flakes falling from a December sky: glorious. White flakes falling from a dry scalp: gross. Itching and flakes can be symptoms of both dandruff (a condition caused by a yeast-like fungus) and dry scalp (run-of-the-mill dry skin), says Day. Soothing Solution: Try a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. If they don’t soothe your scalp after a week, try using an intensive-care product, such as Moroccan oil Dry-No-More Professional Scalp Treatment.
Cracked Reptilian Skin
Too many hot showers and not enough body cream can make your skin resemble a desert creature. Arms and legs have fewer oil glands, so they tend to be drier and scalier than other parts, especially in the winter. Soothing Solution: Milk does a body good—inside and out. The natural fats and lactic acid in moo
juice can soften skin, lightly exfoliate, and abate irritation. A nourishing milk and honey lotion should do just the trick.
We tend to feel less thirsty in the winter months, but it’s absolutely crucial that we keep ourselves and our skin hydrated, inside and out. In addition to drinking plenty of water, herbal teas and clear soups are more creative ways to get your daily H2O and flush out toxins. You can also try adding some moisture to your home with a humidifier in the bedroom, which can help keep skin from overdrying and clear sinuses in cold weather.
Steer Clear(ish) Of the Cocktails
The festive season may be the time for drinking and making merry, with plenty of delicious hot and cold Christmas-themed tipples on offer, but your skin won’t thank you for it. Since alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate skin, limit your alcohol, coffee and soda consumption in the colder months... and think how lovely you’ll feel waking up after your office party without a hangover.
Feed Your Skin
Certain foods can help your skin glow from the inside out, so make sure you eat plenty of oily fish like salmon and tuna (high in omega-3 which help plump up skin’s collagen production), spinach and avocadoes (high in vitamin E, which protects skin from UV rays and cell damage) and vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits (they’ll help stave off wrinkles). Sugar won’t be doing any favors for sallow winter skin, so get snacking on seeds and nuts for a zinc boost, essential for preventing rashes and unwanted skin irritations.
Keep It Cool
Even though nothing seems more comforting than a steaming long, hot shower, it’s a sure-fire way to dry out your skin even faster. Avoid long, hot baths too, and make sure to pat skin dry afterwards instead of rubbing with a towel, which can strip skin of its natural moisture barrier. And don’t forget the moisturizer - apply while skin is still damp for maximum penetration.
TSJC Entertains You! TSJC strives to engage, inspire and enrich the community through performing arts programs, and cultural events. By Kathleen Donnelly The joy of sweet melody, rhythm, and harmony; the quick-witted play of words, and shared laughter are holiday season offerings to you and your family from the Trinidad State Junior College Music and Theater departments this month. Head of TSJC’s Theater Department, Joe Reorda II, will direct students in Footlight Frenzy, a comedy in two acts, written by Ron House, Diz White, Alan Shearman and Bud Slocumb. Footlight Frenzy is a zany comedy about supporters of a school for unusual children, who are attempting to put on a play as a fundraiser to save their school. On the night of the big performance, everything that can go wrong, from bad props to actors who don’t show up, sets the stage for nonstop jokes.
Performance dates are December 5, 6 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. and December 9 at 2:00 p.m.
On Friday, December 7, at 7:30 p.m., TSJC’s Music Department Pro Concert is proud to spotlight virtuoso guitarist Jaquie Gipson, who plays six and twelve string acoustic guitar, incorporating melodic two hand tapping and percussion techniques into traditional fingerstyle playing. Born and raised in Trinidad, Gipson began playing the guitar at the age of 14. She played rhythm guitar in a small garage band and also in the Trinidad High School Stage Band. In college, she heard of Leo Kottke, known for his vigorous picking and combination of genres, including folk, rock, jazz, and bluegrass. Gipson said she “put the electric guitar down and picked up the acoustic.” Dozens of guitarists, both electric and acoustic, have influenced her playing. Gipson has recorded three CDs over the years featuring her own compositions and unconventional tuning techniques.
Her performances rate rave reviews:
“Let me give you a really good tip. The next time Jaquie Gipson performs in your area, run, don’t walk to get a front row seat. If you have not heard her brand of playing, you are in for a special experience. Jaquie does not just play the guitar. She strokes, drums, and double taps the instrument, coaxing beautiful thoughts, ideas, memories and emotions out of that piece of wood.” --Phylis Stark Acoustic Spotlight Black Rose Acoustic Society Trinidad State’s Music Department, will also showcase its talented students in a Winter Concert, December 11 at 7:00 p.m., under the direction of TSJC’s Head of Music, Sharon Suh. All of these events will be held at the Massari Performing Arts Center. For more information call Josephine Chacon at 719-846-5474.
The College SPOT
Part of a Team that Wins Blake Young signs for golf program with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs By Doc Leonetti Trinidad High School golfing standout Blake Young has signed a national letter of intent to play for Coach Phil Trujillo at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs next year. UCCS, as is well known in the Rocky Mountain west, is a Division II school with a history of excellence in sports as well as academics. “Blake is great kid,” said golf coach Mike Vecchio who mentored the effervescent youngster in the art of golf for the past four years, “and very deserving. I think he’ll do well in golf, in academics at C.U. Springs, and in life. As good a golfer as he is, he’s even a better person. I wish him every success in the world.” Young is juiced and ready to play for an established golfing program at UCCS, a school that has traditionally nurtured a nationally ranked golf program. The Trinidad High golfer is excited to play for Trujillo, a mentor who exhorts his players to work hard, excel, and just win. In a communiqué to the UCCS coach, Young extolled his primary goal, to be part of a team that wins a national championship. He is of the firm belief that Trujillo has culled a great group of young players to accomplish just that. The UCCS team will be graduating five seniors, and Trujillo will proceed with his mission to find talented underclassmen to compete at a level consistent with his expectations for excellence. The Trinidad kid is one of them. Young received scholarship offers to play for the University of Texas at El Paso, Northern Colorado University, and
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UNDEFEATED HOEHNE FARMERS
(13-0) FOOTBALL TEAM FOR WINNING THEIR SECOND COLORADO CLASS 1A 8-MAN STATE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE LAST THREE YEARS. FARMER STATE TITLES 1980 2010 2012 The Farmers have played in the last three 8-Man Championship Games in 2010, 2011, & 2012 They have two undefeated seasons in the last three years The Farmers are ranked #23 nationally
sundry other college programs, but decided that UCCS presented the best opportunity for winning a national championship.
“I’m looking forward to going up there,” said Young. “Trujillo is a great coach, and I know they will have a good team. It is definitely a nice place to be because of their practice facilities, and the competition is going to be superb. I felt like I was most comfortable there and they will provide the golf team the best opportunity to play for a national championship. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun.” The youngsters resume is replete with major golfing accomplishments. His 2012 season exemplifies a snapshot of his career achievements, and the essence of his passion for the sport. He was the medalist in seven of ten tournaments last season in PGA sponsored tournaments, and Player of the Year in the Jr. PGA 17-18 division. Add to that the Colorado Tri-Peaks League individual champion with a 69.9 high school scoring average, and medalist in eight of 11 high school tournaments, a sixth place finish in state competition, and was a medalist in 18 tournaments from November of 2011 through November 2012.
traditional run at the NCAA Division II National Championship.
The blossoming golfer from Trinidad High is most appreciative of his pending golfing adventure. The youngster acknowledges that the opportunity to play college golf was nurtured with the support of his family, the Trinidad community, his high school teammates, and, unquestionably, his venerable coach. “Coach Vecch’s is one of greatest guys I know,” concluded Young. “I wouldn’t be here without him. I really appreciate all he’s done for me. My family has been great. They always support me in everything I do. I wouldn’t be where I am without my family either. Dad’s been a great supporter for a lot of years. It should be a great four years starting this spring. I’m really looking forward to it.”
UCCS practices at the Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Course, the Broadmoor, Kissing Camels County Club, and the Country Club of Colorado, and competes against some of the finest Division I and II programs in the country. The school traditionally initiates the fall season at the Air Force Academy Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational at the Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Course, a tournament that features some of the best college golfers and teams in the country, including the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Air Force, UNLV, and Kansas. Two years ago, UCCS won that prestigious tournament. The spring season culminates with a Hoehne has won 39 of their last 40 games Hoehne has won 11 of their last 12 state playoff games, three straight Cross Division games since 2010 and 20 playoff games since 2007 State Semi-Final appearances in 2007 and 2008 In 2012: • Wyatt Schrepfer rushed for 1,000 yards • Vince Valdez had over 600 yards on the ground, and 400 yards receiving • Sawyer Schafer passed for over 1,400 yards and hit for 25 touchdowns • Derrick Cordova caught 12 touchdowns and had over 700 receiving yards • Cody Howard had over 90 tackles • Brandon Segura had over 75 tackles and 10 sacks • Todd Arnhold 6 sacks
Sports Schedule TRINIDAD MINER BASKETBALL Friday, December14 Tuesday, December 18 Friday, December 21
La Junta Raton James Irwin
Home 4:00 5:30 7:00 Home 5:30 7:00 Away 4:00 5:30 7:00
TRINIDAD LADY MINER BASKETBALL Friday, December 14 Saturday, December 15 Tuesday, December 18 Friday, December 21
La Junta* Del Norte Raton James Irwin*
Away Home Away Home
4:00 5:30 7:00 2:00 3:30 5:30 7:00 4:00 5:30 7:00
TRINIDAD HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING Saturday, December 8 Saturday, December 15
CSCS Invite Away John Mall Invite Away
9:00 pm 9:00 pm
Hoehne Farmers - Varsity Boys & Girls Basketball Schedule December 2012 12/7/12 12/8/12 12/14/12 12/20/12
Custer County Springfield Rye* Fowler*
Away Home Home Away
3:00 2:00 2:00 4:00
Weekly Horoscopes Aries
Your desires, emotions and motives this week will be very controversial. People who depend on you will ask you to perform tasks or activities you really don’t want to do. Try to avoid confrontation directly, as far as possible apply diplomatic methods of communication. Let them run with their ideas and be supportive but try to keep from getting reeled in.
Try to understand the nature of events. This week you need to rely on your tenacity, because a lot of things will not happen as expected. Think about your responses carefully and watch what happens. Only then will be able to respond adequately without harming yourself. Do not share your plans until you are absolutely sure that you have a clear vision for their implementation. Do not shrink from difficulties, especially if they are the result of subjective events or someone’s bad mood.
You will be able to take advantage of results from work well done. Your efforts will reflect positively on your financial situation. This week you will probably get additional income that you will welcome having for the upcoming holidays. You can achieve much more if you improve your personal organization and don’t waste time on meaningless activities. Promise only what you can accomplish, because otherwise you risk annoying those that look to you for help. Listen to the opinions of friends or colleagues who are more experienced this will save you a lot of mistakes and frustration.
Very often you to go extremes and it ultimately ends badly for you. You rush to help the world, or withdraw into your own shell. Both are equally harmful. This week you will deal with the problems of everyday life. Rely on reason rather than turbulent emotions. Your knee-jerk reactions are usually hasty and the result of miscalculation. Do not be confrontational with people that determine the stability of your position. Keep in mind that to protect your interests is one thing, but to ignore obligations is quite another.
One of the major difficulties you face this week is being able to match your personal interests to the interests of those around you. You only have so much time available, you will not get to participate in all activities or events that interest you. If you need to temporarily step back from your some of the positions you hold, accept it as a necessary evil. You will probably offer to join a new team or newsgroup where you will get high marks for your numerous abilities. Assess your capabilities, knowledge and health. The desire to advance does not cause negative effects in any form whatsoever but you must allow time to take care of yourself and your needs.
If you take on too many commitments this week you probably will not get anywhere. It is not impossible to step back from any situation that does not affect you directly or is someone else’s mistake to fix. Do not take it too personally, do not think that their solution will stabilize your position. On the contrary! Not only will you not win anything, but can also harm your health. So - cut down and do not let others manipulate you.
Differences in nature and origin will cause problems for you this week. If something is over, others will not try to continue the situation, but the biggest nightmare would be a sharing of wrong information. In such circumstances, you need to act very carefully, be aware of the details and manage your time so that you can provide some help. The whole week will be successful because you will be able to stabilize your financial situation and create new, very useful contacts. Patience and prudence will be rewarded more than you can imagine.
Take the opportunity to correct some past mistakes or repair existing personal relationships. This week’s events will develop in your favor. Consider whether your familiar working methods are exhausted or if it is the right time to implement something new. Do an experiment. Act boldly. Take advantage of available new experiences - this will save you a lot of time and effort. Thanks to your good performance this week you will receive universal recognition and support, even from people you do not expect to notice.
It will be difficult to remain calm and have your presence of mind this week. Almost continually you will fall into situations that cause stress or irritation. This can provoke you to acts that otherwise you would never engage in. Try to think rationally, avoid hasty actions or statements you will almost immediately regret. Remember that your actions will cause reactions and a little provocation can develop into a serious conflict. Prepare yourself mentally so that you can change the dynamics of a situation, even if it’s temporarily. Accept changes calmly and follow the course of events.
You will have serious delights to conquer this week. On the one hand you have a lot of duties, on the other many enticing offers. You will have various courses, seminars, educational trips and other attractive proposals placed before you. Your contacts will also be many and varied, it is possible to communicate with representatives of other countries or ethnic groups. All of this will be very exciting and inspiring. You will also learn new, interesting and useful information. Use the time to expand your business or influence.
Do not rely too much on luck this week. You may encounter unforeseen problems or personal hostility toward you or at least the results of your work. At the same time it is desirable to keep calm and not to change your attitude. Avoid conflict and respond to challenges with your inherent imagination and humor. This will save you a great deal of stress and distraction. Be prepared for the fact that someone may try to manipulate you or influence your opinion. Respond diplomatically and avoid direct refusal. Act according to circumstances.
Your attempts to consolidate collective efforts around you are unlikely to succeed, or at least the results will not meet your expectations. Accept criticism for promises that you have not fulfilled and act properly. It will stabilize the relationship and erase an unpleasant impression of you. Do not start new projects or activities with strangers, they will soon be at an impasse and you will regret the lost time. Avoid places where there are too many people and be cautious - you can be cheated and they can steal something more important than money (documents, bank cards). Remember that some people manage to hide a lot of hostility behind smile.
Trinidad Hall of FAME
impact on your own local economy and community.
Numerous studies have been conducted in the past decade comparing the impact of locally owned businesses to non-local businesses. A prominent study says: a modest change in consumer behavior - a mere 10 percent shift in market share to independent businesses from chain stores - would result in 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in wages, and a $137 million economic impact to the area.
We want to thank all of those community members who shop and support local. You help support this community, better our schools, take care of our children and seniors, support our sports teams, and help build everything we share as citizens of Trinidad. This Christmas season Around Trinidad is asking residents of Trinidad and Las Animas County to shop local, visit their local retailers, galleries and shops to see firsthand the wonderful items they have to offer. It may seem that spending $3 at a national chain is the same as spending $3 at a local shop, but your spending choices have a profound
Why local? 1. Economic Multiplier Effect Businesses in your town buy more often from other businesses in your town, which recirculates more money in your region. Hooray! Since business owners live right there in your community, the profits stay in your economy. 2. Sustainability Purchasing goods made closer to home reduces fossil fuel use and shortens the supply chain, keeping you more connected to where and how your goods are produced. 3. Community Local entrepreneurs are more connected to your community and more likely to support community projects, because just like you,
they also have hobbies, go to events, volunteer, dine at their favorite restaurants, and donate to their favorite charities.
If you know you can find what you’re looking for in the bigger cities but are unsure if your local retailer carries it? ASK! Often they can get it for you and will match the price! When you shop locally, your money is 3 times more powerful. Local shop owners reinvest your money in the community on average 3 times because they pay local taxes, support local charities, employ local people, source their wares locally, and in many other ways. Did you have any idea you were so powerful! Gifts abound in shops downtown! (and elsewhere in the area, but it happens to rhyme!) Art by local artisans, includes paintings, sculptures, photography and more, books can be found at many local stores and the museums, vintage and new clothing can be found in several shops, hair salons carry accessories and beauty products, or see many of the antiques and unique items found in the specialty stores. Give a membership to a health and fitness club, or gift certificate to a local restaurant. Vow to give something different this year because “there is every reason to shop the season locally.”
This is the power of COMMUNITY!
can help individuals live better, stronger and with energy. “My 14-years of experience has helped. I got into occupational therapy because I have a brother who has Williams Syndrome,” a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental delays.
By Marty Hackett
Through the years she watched her mom struggle to get help for her brother another reason why she says she was called into the therapy field. “I knew when I came back home that there was an absolute need for these services to be provided in our community, so we are trying to fill that need. My goal is to provide quality health care and have it at one center.”
Come Back to Wholeness & Health A calling to come back home and give back to the community she grew up in brought Katrina McLaughlin back to Trinidad where she started a business she says helps individuals move forward and enrich their lives. “I loved growing up here, my family is here, my true home is here in Trinidad,” a reminiscing McLaughlin told Around Trinidad. “So I came back here in 2007. I had a desire to open my own company which I named Trinidad Pediatric and Adult Healing Center to help those in our great community heal and move forward with their lives.”
For the past two years this 1992 graduate of Trinidad High School has provided speech therapy, massage, holistic health and medical massage therapy, along with full body messages, reflexology, Jin Shine, facials, facial cupping, Reki, with Native American healing to hundreds of local residents and individuals who come from around the country to received her many services. “Coming home was truly an act of faith,” McLaughlin added with a smile. “I started with absolutely nothing in my pocket, and with my faith and beliefs worked to build a successful business.” And she has so far, which she says “truly shows that hard work and patience does pay off.” McLaughlin says that her services and spirituality
On a weekly basis the staff at Trinidad Pediatric and Adult Healing Center treats over 100 clients with speech and occupational therapy. The office provides services to Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. In addition, McLaughlin also provides 20 plus massages per week. “We are flexible with our hours, I have a wonderful staff and we stay pretty busy,” McLaughlin added, “Most of our business has been from word of mouth, but in the future we want to build a relationship with local doctors and health care facilities, building a strong relationship which will eventually mean we can provide nearly all the health care services needed here in Trinidad.” McLaughlin says that her company needs to educate everyone on how her services can help and work for them. The most important thing for Katrina is watching a child who could not speak, progress in a task most of us take for granted, “It is very rewarding to watch our child patients come out of their shell and progress in their social skills, and for them to be able interact and be in public with their families.”
McLaughlin would like to help individuals and families gain knowledge of their own person/ bodies instead of always relying on medications, to know and understand how to utilize stress management, and to use message to help maintain a healthy body. McLaughlin’s daughter KatieLee is a great little worker and is often seen helping out in the office. Katrina graduated from Pueblo Community College in 1997 and from Trinidad State Jr. College with degrees in this unique field of therapy. For more information go by 134 W. Main Street #12 in the Bell Block in Trinidad, call 719-846-4061 or 719-680-2424.
DELICIOUS DISHES Christmas Cheesecake
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons butter or margarine melted 2 pounds cream cheese 1cup sugar 8 ounces sour cream 2 eggs 1cup flour ¾ cup heavy whipping cream 2 cup in total chopped candied cherries, green raisins, walnuts, candied pineapple ½ cup small chocolate chips In a 5 quart mixing bowl place 2 pounds of cream cheese and 1 cup granulated sugar and mix on low speed until cream cheese is softened and smooth, place in bowl 8 ounces sour cream and continue mixing until well blended, at this time add 2 eggs, mix for 2 minutes then add 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, mix on second speed until your cheesecake batter is smooth and creamy. At this time your cheesecake mixture should be fluffy like ice cream as it comes out of the ice cream machine. Add the candied fruit, raisins, walnuts, pineapple, chocolate chips, fold everything together. Prepare your 10 inch x 2 inches spring form pan, in a large bowl place your graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar, and your melted butter or margarine, then with a wire whisk, whisk them together until well combined, brush onto the sides of your spring form pan a little softened butter so the crumbs have something to hold to, place the crumbs on the sides and bottom of the pan. Now you add slowly to the pan your cheesecake mix as not to disturb the crumbs too much, now you should have a full pan. The total weight of the cheesecake with the crumbs on the sides should be 5 to 5-1/4 pounds if you have some batter left over, just chill it, put some whip cream on it and enjoy. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees and not more, when your oven is hot place the cheesecake in it and bake for 55 minutes then shut off the oven and leave it in there for 3 hours, at the end of this time you should have the most beautiful cheesecake you ever seen. Leave the cheesecake at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours then place it in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Now remove it from the pan and enjoy. Before serving, sprinkle some red and green edible glitter that you can purchase at any store that has decorating supplies.
The Magic of Christmas By Marty Hackett Playing Santa doesn’t require reindeer navigation or toy construction, but is rather a heartwarming and important job. Nothing can compare with the smile on a child’s face when they discover Santa in the room. While it may require a Santa suit and a hearty laugh, the true measure of a successful Santa Claus is whether or not their attitude captures the jovial and caring nature of Saint Nick. Jim Davis has been portraying the jolly old elf for many years at no charge and has yet to refuse a request from anyone who needs Santa. On one occasion, a sick child missed seeing Santa at school and his father asked if Jim would come to the house. “I went over and parked my truck about a half block away. Johnny answered the door and his eyes got wide. His dad had put a present on the porch. He didn’t play with the present,” Davis explained, “he sat close to me and stared! I was leaving and he’s hanging on to my pants and asks me, ‘Is that your truck?’ ‘No,’ I said, “I borrowed that truck because my sleigh is out getting the runners all shiny.’” The job of Santa must include asking, “What would you like for Christmas?” and the answers he has heard have been both interesting and heartbreaking. Davis remembers one boy about 8 years old requested that Santa bring him bagpipes but another little girl had a different request. On a cold, dark day at Cimino Park, Santa was handing out candy canes and asking the kids what they would like when a girl about 9 years old replied that she would be happy with anything. Santa said that it was nice of her to be happy with anything she received. However as he was leaving, Davis said, “She came up to me and I leaned over, she whispered in my ear, “What I really want Santa is for my mom to get out of jail.”
Davis has portrayed Santa at numerous events, museums, schools, churches, taken pictures with pets and made visits to the Trinidad Correctional Facility to hand out gifts the inmates bought for their children. The most rewarding portrayal of Santa for Davis remains his time spent at the Northern New Mexico Foster Children’s program. “Those children were just so unbelievably grateful to get something!” While Santa is always careful in front of children, he did note that one night he visited some friends in a local saloon and a woman he recognized from ministering at the jail approached him. She had a special request for Christmas. “I would like my family to love me again,” she told him. He sat her down and explained that she needed to give up her “bad” habits in order to regain her family’s trust and assured her that if she did, her family, who he reminded her did still love her, but had lost trust, would regain that trust. About eight months later, while Davis was shopping he heard a family’s laughter in the next aisle. He approached the happy family and recognized the woman from the bar. It warmed his heart that the woman who had asked him for her family to love her again had gotten her Christmas wish. As Santa, Davis has brought numerous smiles to children and adults alike and restored faith to those that have given-up their belief in the magic of Christmas.
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Be Beautiful & Buy Presents By E.R.A. McCarthey Visit the Commercial Street Holiday Gift Shop while you are getting gorgeous for the season at Commercial Street Salon and Day Spa. This year, Liz Torres has converted the space next to her salon into a complete holiday gift shop. You can find everything from scarves and purses to jewelry and make-up at reasonable prices. Mrs. Torres purchased new inventory and stocked the place with lots of fun items. Commercial Street Salon and Day Spa caters to families and they have stylists that work wonders for men, women and children. If the holiday rush has you feeling a bit
hectic you can even get a massage, pedicure or scalp treatment.
You can get your hair colored, add extensions, put 3D snowflakes on your nails, have glamour makeup done, AND buy gifts for your loved ones. The salon is also a great place to meet new people. Many ladies in our community patronize the shop and chat together about the best places and events to visit in Trinidad. You can pamper yourself while you check-off items from your holiday shopping list. Now thatâ€™s definitely time worth spending. Go to the website www.commercialstreetsalon. com and see all the services offered. In this Photo: Cecily Torres, Gianna Torres with Baby Travis, Heather Coberly, Josie Terry, Liz Torres, Whitney Torres with Baby Keoni
719.846.6610 Happy & Safe Holidayâ€™s 257 N. Commercial Street Trinidad, Colorado 81082 www.CommercialStreetSalon.com
Make this a Special Pawliday Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association 224 North Chestnut Street Trinidad, CO 81082 719-680-2385 Fax 719-680-2386 www.noahsarktrinidad.com email@example.com Kim Riddle, Noah’s Ark Executive Director Jenna Waldschmidt, Marketing Committee
Annie is a 2 year old Pit Bull who is shy, but sweet, with other dogs and loves people of all sizes!
By Marty Hackett Open your heart this holiday season to more love and tail wags by adopting a new best friend or help the animals at Noah’s Ark have a merrier holiday season by taking them a donation of dog or cat food, toys or treats. Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare Association is Las Animas Counties only animal shelter. Established as a non-profit in 2001 they operate with the mindset that every animal that walks through their doors desires the best treatment, care and placement in homes. The staff and board of directors host a variety of events and fundraisers throughout the year in order to subsidize the cost to operate the shelter. Staff is made up of a crew of animal lovers who are dedicated to ensuring the safety and health of their animals are at high standards. Noah’s Ark Shelter is located at 224 North Chestnut Street in Trinidad (by the Riverwalk and behind the Los Ninos Soccer Complex. Hours of operation are Monday and Tuesday from 8:3012:30 and Wednesday-Saturday from 11-4pm, closed to the public on Sundays. Adoption fees help to offset the cost of evaluation, housing, feeding, and medical care for over 1200 homeless animals needing help every year. Dog adoption fees are $65 and include the distemper vaccination, bordatella (kennel cough) and rabies. However, puppies up to 6 months old and some special breeds are $130 or up.
Casey is a 16 year old female Orange Tabby seeking home to live out her golden years in.
Nacho is a 2 year old male who is just excited to be alive and would love a family to call his own!
Samsam is a 1 year old male Siamese mix who is great with other cats!
Cat adoption fees are $20 and includes FVRCP vaccination and rabies. Any animal that has not been altered will be spayed/neutered before leaving the shelter. If you are interested in learning more about an animal or want to adopt, please contact the shelter today at 719-680-2385 to start the adoption process.
Wyatt is a handsome 1 year old lab mix who is a smart guy who knows some commands already!
Art and Music Capturing Magical Moments By Marty Hackett At the age of 12, a young girl discovered that she could create magic by applying oils to canvas. Karen Howl now has mastered the technique and her paintings of mostly people with “character” and animals make you want to reach out and see if the texture of their features can be felt. “I purposely select people with character,” she explains as she shows the many paintings she has produced in her 6 years as a Trinidad resident and 37 years at the easel. “I’m just drawn to them.” She has focused regularly on her “Turtle Time Farm” paintings, where her subjects Laurie York and Carmen Goodyear and their pet goats and sheep tell a story of a simpler life. “I have never been there, but I feel like I know the farm.” Karen saw pictures of Turtle Time Farm on Flickr and contacted the ladies to gain permission to recreate on canvas the photos they had posted. “The pictures said to me, ‘You gotta paint me!’” She has painted 9 different pictures featuring Vida and Pepita the Nubian goats, Curly the sheep and other pets on the farm and their “masters.” Most of Karen’s paintings have been of farmlands in her home state of Oklahoma and the people and landscapes of New Mexico where her family often vacationed when she was younger. Others include local characters in and around Trinidad, at the Farmer’s Market, but whatever her subject matter may be, the play of light and her beautifully detailed and colorful settings is absolutely amaz-
ing. It’s almost as though she feels a connection between herself and her subjects.
Feeling “daunted” by quick drying acrylics, Karen prefers to use oils to create her works of art and has used photographs she and others have taken to recreate the scenes and capture the moments. A “pet” project she hopes to see grow is pet portraits. “I just think people would like to have portraits of their special pets to keep forever.” Karen’s paintings would make the perfect Christmas gift. Browse through her paintings and photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/howlwoodworks/ or see them at the Old Pass Gallery in Raton, NM, The Gallery Main Christmas Mercado or the Corazon Gallery Christmas Critter Show and give something amazing to your special someone this year!
EDUCATION Innovative Minds Blossom at a World of Discovery By Heather Massena Lacretia Edwards, the proud owner/director/ teacher of A World of Discovery Learning Center has been dedicated to expanding and enhancing the minds of children for some 30 years now. With a B.A. in Elementary Education, a Minor in Early Childhood, as well as credited hours in gifted and special needs, Edwards believes that engaging in hands-on activities and designing experiments is an important tool in learning. Aside from offering education in standard school subjects, the center goes above and beyond to provide young children with a unique environment filled with music, art, and science designed to engage the children’s interactive minds. Mrs. Edwards has owned and operated the center for 8 years, with over 45 children enrolled, ranging from the ages of 2 ½ to 13 years. Good, healthy
home cooking is served every day with fun cooking activities available for the children. Along with large open areas and space inside, there is a wide variety of playground equipment outside to play with as well as the center’s wonderful vegetable garden filled with delicious veggies of every kind. For those snowy winter days there is an indoor bouncy castle to help kids exert excess energy. Christine Vigil and Elizabeth Giron work along with Edwards to teach the students, using love, understanding and engagement. In coordination with the normal school year, the center offers evening academic enrichment programs designed to help older children. The center takes the children on trips to the community pool, library, museums, lake, city parks, and the bowling alley too! An after-school program is offered to help with homework time, as well as tutoring for kids with extra study needs. And don’t forget the fun, adventurous field trips every Friday! A World of Discovery Learning Center is located at 1506 E. Main St. in Trinidad, CO. The center’s hours are from 5:45 am to 6:00 pm, providing services to children 2 ½ to 13 years of age. If your child is still learning to be potty trained the staff are willing to help. Part-time and Drop-off ’s are welcome. Please call (719) 846-1711 for more details.
NEW VIEWS Letters to Santa
Dear Santa, Please bring me little scissors. Thank You, Joselyn - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me sparkles. Thank You, Jayvien - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me a car. Thank You, John - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me a Batman toy. Thank You, Javan - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me a train wrapped in wrapping paper and a backhoe. Thank You, Frasier - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me playdough. Thank You, Dallas - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me a baby and toys. Thank You, Arianna - 4 Yrs. Old
Dear Santa, Please bring me a pony, a unicorn, seashells, and new dresses. Thank You, Emma - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me a princess computer, a Barbie computer, and new shoes. Thank You, Anjalina - 4 Yrs. Old Dear Santa, Please bring me an Xbox game. Thank You, Brendon - 10 Yrs. Old
A Positive Direction New City Public Works Director Jeff Hill wants to help Trinidad move into the future.
Hotels. “I though moving up to be an Engineer would be a great way to support the family.” Hill moved to Grand Junction, Colorado to go back to school 1986/1987.
By David J. Santistevan Jr.
Hill married his wife Alisa in March of ’85, the couple met when Hill was doing some surveying work in the Rangeley Oil Fields for Chevron. “My wife worked at a store and she took my heart from there!” Hill has three children; Benjamin, 27, Amanda, 23, and Emily, 20.
Photo by Around Trinidad
Hill went to Mesa State College then he transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins were he earned his Civil Engineering Degree in 1989, “At that time we had three children and I knew I had to go back out and get a job to support the family, so I went to work for a company in Denver.” Hill then went to work for the city of Greeley, from there he went to Fort Collins to advance his career. After ten years he moved the family to Arizona for a better engineering job in 2005. Before coming to Trinidad Hill worked three and half years as a Project Manager for Witcha Falls.
A Utah native with deep family values, Jeff Hill wants to be part of moving the City of Trinidad into the future with creative ideas. The new Public Works Director has moved to Trinidad with his family and he is excited to start working to better his new home. Hill was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Before his family moved he was working on a chicken farm. They then relocated to Aspen, Colorado where Hill went to school, graduating in 1979. “After high school I went back to Utah to work in the oil fields, I thought there was money to be made there, thought it was a good opportunity,” Hill said with a smile. “After the gas fields went down, I moved back to Salt Lake City to work in high rise construction, working in Denver, Colorado, Portland, Oregon. When they wanted me to go to San Antonio, Texas in 1985 we decided not to go. I was just freshly married and my wife was pregnant.” Hill was working in ’85 as an Engineer’s Assistance on high-rise buildings, building Embassy Suites
“I wanted to get back into management and Trinidad gave me that opportunity,” Hill added, “My wife and I wanted to get back to Colorado, to be closer to our family, to get back to the mountains, so far Trinidad has been a great fit for us. We had been through Trinidad before, on many occasions we had spent a little time here, there are historic values here and we loved it.” Hill knows that there will be a lot of challenges for him here in Trinidad, “In these tough economic times we want to try to help everyone we can in government, so we will have to put out the best work, with limited resources. This is happening nationwide with every municipality,” Hill added. “Public Works is a very important part of how we live, so we want to do our best.” Challenges for Hill include the landfill, long-term maintenance on streets, and utilizing limited resources and crews to their fullest, “One of Trinidad’s best assets is the landfill. Raton has closed their landfill and the cost would be very high if Trinidad lost its landfill facility. We need to take care of our landfill and make sure it complies with state regulations,” Hill added, “I am easy going and open to ideas that will help us move this good town in positive direction to maintain it for years to come.”
TRINIDAD TREASURES Mary of the Nativity Edited by Marty Hacket Submitted by Margaret Apodaca The Spanish name “natividad” means “of the nativity,” and Maria is the Spanish equivalent to Mary, both Christian names reminding one of the blessed Christmas time that is upon us. This is the story of Maria Natividad Torres – Mary N. Gonzales who was honored recently at the Historical Society’s Annual awards ceremony, recognizing Century Families -residents of Las Animas County who have lived here 100 years or longer. Brought into this life as a fragile infant weighing only five pounds, Maria Natividad Torres was born at home two months earlier than expected. Immediately after her delivery by her Grandma Antonita, Maria was swaddled securely in handmade blankets and tucked into a small box, which was then placed on the edge of the open door of a warm oven. One hundred years ago, on June 28, 1912, in this makeshift incubator, Maria Natividad who prefers to be called Mary N., began a life which she continues today as a resident in the Trinidad Inn Nursing Home. She is the only remaining child born to Jose Bonifacio Torres and Secundina Gurule. Bonifacio was killed in a mining accident in 1937 in the Frederick Coal Mine in Valdez, Co and Secundina died in 1918 as a result of the influenza. Mary was baptized on August 25, 1912 in Tercio, Colorado and on October, 12, 1927 was confirmed in Tercio. Her public school diploma verifies completion of the 8th grade on May 24, 1928. Despite being a mere 4’ 11” and earning only an 8th grade education, Mary’s accomplishments are admirable for a woman born in 1912. At the age of thirteen, because of the untimely death of her step-mother in 1925, Mary assumed the role of mother to her 5 year-old step-sister and her 9 month-old step brother. After three years of being the only mother these two children knew, she took on an additional responsibility. To help with family finances, during the summer of her 16th year, she waited tables and cleaned and maintained three of the guest rooms in what Mary refers to as the “Big House” at the Vermejo Park Ranch in Vermejo, New Mexico. By doing this, she could contribute an additional $35 a month. Mary continued the care of her step -brother and sister for 14 years. On March 6, 1935 Mary married Jose De Gracia (J.D.) Gonzales in the Las Animas County Court House and on February 25, 1950, Mary and J. D. reaffirmed their marriage vows at Holy Trinity Church in Trinidad. Mary’s favorite subject in school was math and she used her math skills to maintain the inventory and bookkeeping records for The West Side Inn, a
family owned business, for approximately 30 years. Mary not only managed business at the West Side Inn while J.D. worked the day-shift in the Frederick Mine, but she assisted him many evenings and on weekends. Mary was a “working mom” long before the term became a popular euphemism. Utilizing insurance money from her father’s untimely death in a coal mining accident, Mary became a homeowner, purchasing a home in Valdez. She took rudimentary steps to remodel it, smoothing out uneven interior walls and painting them with calcimine. Mixing straw, water and dirt, she patched up exterior adobe walls. She often chopped the wood, hauled the water, fed the chickens, pulled the weeds, planted a garden and provided the best she could for her children, Rose, Ernie, Bonnie, Alberto, Margaret and Joe. Realizing that she couldn’t depend on others to take her where she needed to go, she learned to drive and successfully utilized her driver’s license until the age of 90. A registered voter in Las Animas County since 1948, Mary often served as an election judge during both primary and general elections in Segundo and Trinidad. During her prime, Mary loved to sew, crochet, fish, dance, and gamble. She visited Italy, Spain, Florida, California, Washington, Texas and New Mexico. She served as a volunteer at the Colorado Welcome Center, was an active member of the St. Ignatius and Holy Trinity Churches, the Kennedy and Sayre Senior Centers, La Casa Confedariacion, and the Guadalupe Society. When asked what she enjoys most in her life, Mary is quick to answer with a smile – “MY CHILDREN.”
Believe... Christmas Giving By E.R.A. McCarthey During all the rush and craziness of the holiday season it can be easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. Many Americans enjoy the holiday even if they are not Christians, however Christmas is a spiritual day. It is the birthday of Jesus Christ. Christmas really isn’t about a shiny new bike or tasty cookies, it’s about giving. Many people become unhappy or sad because they have little of monetary value to give. But gifts of love and kindness are worth so much more and align truer with the holiday. Paint the house or clean the yard of a neighbor who is elderly or physically unable to do so themselves. Make sandwiches and give them to homeless citizens in our community. Dig up old blankets and coats from the basement and garage and take them to the soup kitchen to hand out or give them out yourself. Band together your family and pick up litter at your local park. You can make gifts of these activities. I was reading an article about a woman whose gift to her husband was to do something good for someone in need. She would write the deed on a slip of paper, put it in an envelope and place it on their Christmas tree. He would read the letter and discover she had bought uniforms for the hockey team at an underprivileged school or sent a check to elderly brothers whose house burnt down and were left homeless at Christmas. If you have a friend that loves animals donate to the local animal shelter in their name. You can donate time as well. There are many organizations that need more hands such as volunteering to read to the children at Head Start. Give of yourself. This year try not to be caught up in spending money and getting material gifts. Remember: giving of the heart is what is most important for the health of the soul.
God please help me shower everyone around me with the love you have placed into my heart. E.R.A. McCarthey