Show appreciation

Published 2:20 pm Saturday, December 6, 2008

By Staff
The Christmas flotilla is over. So are many of the area’s Christmas parades. The Turnage Theaters Foundation’s Christmas Homes Tour is over, too.
Don’t despair. There are plenty of other events and activities centered around Christmas and the holiday season still on the calendar. The Beaufort County Community Orchestra’s Christmas concert, the Holiday Cookie Express at Washington’s First Christian Church and the presentation of “The Best Gift of All” by a 30-voice choir in Bath are yet to come this year.
Whether already presented or yet to be presented, these events and activities have one thing in common. They are planned and presented by volunteers with the purpose of spreading Christmas cheer throughout the community. These volunteers give much time, and sometimes sweat, as they plan for, rehearse for and spend money on these events, activities and performances for the public.
People like George Fields, Beth Byrd and many others with Downtown Washington on the Waterfront help present the Christmas Flotilla. Without their dedication and willingness to work as volunteers, hundreds of people would not be able to enjoy what has become a favorite Christmas tradition in Washington.
Not only has the Christmas Flotilla become a tradition in Washington, but the collection of toys for the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign has become an important element of the Christmas Flotilla.
The Holiday Cookie Express owes its success in over four Christmas seasons to people such as Nan Hawkins, Ann Parker and Kathy Simpson, plus many others. They make it possible for area residents, and some tourists who are lucky enough to be in Washington when the event is held, to take home some of the best cookies and other tasty edibles made in the region.
They are the ones who help put the smiles on the faces of the hundreds of people who show up for the Christmas Flotilla. They are the ones who put the smiles on the faces of the people who attend the Beaufort County Community Orchestra’s Christmas concert. They are the ones who help bring joy to poor children on Christmas by coordinating the collection of toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.
Do not forget the cold, sometimes bitterly cold, nights that cast members and crew members of “The Birth &Life of Christ” endure to present the annual panorama at Old Ford Church of Christ. Although the drive-through panorama takes several minutes to view, it takes the cast and support crew many hours each Christmas season to prepare for the presentations.
For all of these people who bring area communities such events, they do it because those events are their gifts to their communities. In return, the communities that receive these gifts should show their appreciation by attending the panorama, flotilla or concert.
These people are practicing the belief that it is better to give than receive. Because they do the things they do each Christmas season, that is proof that they believe in what they are doing.
What would these people like for Christmas? They would like for others to show up at their events and activities to show support and appreciation for their efforts.
There are plenty such opportunities left this Christmas season for area residents to show they do appreciate the sacrifices that others make to spread Christmas cheer throughout the area. Turn the remaining events this Christmas season into standing-room-only happenings.
That will put smiles on the faces of those who work hard to present such events.