Wow! Christmas activities have already begun. Both Cape Girardeau and Jackson have already had their Christmas parades. This week we will have a flurry of other Christmas activities in Jackson.
On Thursday, we would like to have you join us in the Jackson City Park around 6 p.m. for Make a Joyful Noise. This event is sponsored by the park board and features a live nativity scene, musical entertainment by the brass ensemble and Mary Bauer, the recently-crowned Miss Jackson, and a visit by Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Refreshments will be provided and served by volunteers from the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Our Lights of the Season display also will be available for viewing. It's an outdoor event, so dress warmly.
Our police department has had a toy drive at Christmas for more than 10 years. Our citizens -- including the children from our elementary schools -- donate toys for children who might need an extra gift or two to make their Christmas complete. These toys will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the lower level of the Jackson Knights of Columbus Hall. We appreciate all the donations, and are especially thankful to the police department for all the extra time and effort they put into this special project.
The Jackson Elks are sponsoring their 27th annual food basket program. They literally give a grocery cart (basket) of food to selected families. The food distribution is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson Elks Lodge. The Oak Ridge Homemakers also distribute clothing for small children at that time. This is another wonderful opportunity for our citizens to make donations to help our local folks.
There are also many Christmas concerts taking place in local churches and schools. Take the time to attend one of these concerts, sit back and enjoy. I am not musically inclined, so going to a Christmas concert is a real treat for me. I especially like the handbell ringers.
We are fast approaching the end of the year. This has certainly been a busy and productive year in Jackson. As I look back on this year, our region has also done quite well. We truly do live in the "heartland" of our great nation. The work ethic and moral values of our citizens make us the envy of many of the areas around us.
As we look forward to another year, I am optimistic that we will continue to grow and prosper. My Christmas wish to you is that you have love to share, good health to spare and family and friends who care.
Barbara Lohr is the mayor of Jackson.