Now that Halloween is over, and since Thanksgiving is unfortunately overridden with the anticipation of Christmas, it’s time for us to start planning for the holidays.

Over the last few weeks I have written a few stories about this year’s Toys for Tots campaign in DeKalb County.

LarRue Hardinger, our Toys for Tots coordinator, has been my point of contact for the articles. From talking to her, I can see that she is passionate about giving every child a memorable Christmas morning.

LaRue told me that she is thankful to coordinate a campaign in a community where everyone wants to do and give what they can to ensue the needy children in our area will wake up to a gift under the tree on Christmas morning.

That really hit home for me, and it made me think of all the Christmas mornings at my mom and dad’s house.

My sister, Nicole, and I would wake up and rush downstairs to a beautiful pile of gifts wrapped in metallic paper under our family tree.

I can remember being amazed at every little detail. Everything from our stockings to the porcelain dolls displayed perfectly on the fireplace mantel made the display of gifts really seem magical.

Of course, we’d get excited, pour out the contents of our stockings, unwrap all the gifts under the tree that had our names on them, and then spend the rest of the day with each other in a pile of wrapping paper.

Even as a kid, Christmas would bring me down to size and remind me of how blessed I was. Growing up in a Christian home, I always knew and believed in the real meaning behind the holiday.

In my parent’s house, the gifts were something they wanted to do for me and Nicole. That’s right, we really weren’t “good girls all year long.” We didn’t do anything to deserve those gifts; my parents simply wanted us to have them.

Similarly, the world, despite how incredibly undeserving we are, was given the perfect gift thousands of years ago.

So, I’d like to encourage you to do something for somebody in need this holiday season, not because they deserve it, but because God wants us to show love to others like he shows us.

We can all donate to Toys for Tots, cook a meal for someone, or invite someone into our homes to share our blessings with.

If we all do something out of the goodness of our hearts for someone in need this holiday season, spreading the love and joy behind the true meaning of Christmas across DeKalb County will be simple.

Kayla Beaty is a staff writer for the Times-Journal. Her email address is

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