Start the tradition of giving this Christmas

We received our first measurable amount of snow for the season Thursday evening. I went ahead and took the opportunity to purchase my Christmas cards.

A few gifts are ordered, or at the very least thought of, and others are asking me for ideas on what I want.

Decorations are hanging from light poles around our communities. The giant Santa Claus and the Nativity have been in front of the Millsop Community Center for about a week.

Last night, Weirton lit up the community Christmas tree, with a gathering of residents at the intersection of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. In its third year, the event has sought to bring back some of the old Christmas traditions of the Weirton community, and it continues to get bigger with each celebration.

The Weirton Christmas Parade, organized by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held Saturday, with units setting down Main Street at 6 p.m.

Wellsburg’s parade will be held Friday night.

The holiday season is fully under way in the Upper Ohio Valley.

These are, of course, only a few of the festivities for our area residents to see in the coming weeks, and I’m sure there are some about which we are not aware. There are many traditions in our communities, and new activities thought up each year.

There is talk, for example, of caroling in Cove Commons each Friday night throughout the season. From what I’ve been told, plans are to have the area decorated and, beginning this week, people will be able to gather and listen to members of the Striplight Theatre Co. sing a variety of holiday songs.

Every community has its special traditions, just as every family has a series of activities it likes to do. Perhaps you enjoy traveling to Oglebay to see the Festival of Lights. Perhaps you also take a drive up to Clinton, Pa. to see their display.

Maybe you have a particular movie you gather together to watch on Christmas Eve or set plans of visiting relatives on certain days.

You might have a specific food item you prepare for Christmas morning, or maybe you just like to go out for Chinese like Ralphie and his family after the neighbors’ dogs ate their turkey.

Do you have special decorations, handed down through the generations? Does your family have a particular way of putting up your tree or a pattern of outdoor lights on your home?

Traditions are an important factor of any holiday celebration. Whether it is something you do at home or a community event, they draw us together and make the festivities of the season even more special.

It can be something as simple as taking a drive through your neighborhood, or going caroling with your neighbors or members of your church. You may gather with a select group of friends at a favorite restaurant. You might even go to see a holiday-inspired theatrical production or just sit at home and watch “Charlie Brown.”

There are many ways for all of us to observe the Christmas holiday, and I’m sure we’re going to be seeing our residents taking part in their various traditions over the next month, or maybe doing something to start a new trend.

In the event you don’t have a special activity, here are a few suggestions beyond the norm.

Volunteer to ring the bell for an hour with the Salvation Army.

The kettle campaign will be getting under way soon, and they will need the assistance.

Start a collection of non-perishable food items to donate to local charities. In addition to the Salvation Army, Weirton also has the Community Bread Basket and there are food pantries in many of our other local communities.

Volunteer serving meals at Table of Hope. This organization has helped many over the last few years, and I’m sure would appreciate the aid.

Raise money at your family or work Christmas party and donate it to a selected charitable organization.

The Christmas season is a time for giving. What better tradition than to truly live in that spirit.

COMMENTS