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’Tis the season to become a better person and to enjoy life more

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

 

It’s my favorite time of year. The Christmas season has officially begun in Brunswick County.

Once the turkey is carved and gobbled up, it’s time to light the Christmas tree and turn on the holiday music.

I am thankful to live in a community where the Christmas season is celebrated at every turn. Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending the day getting in the spirit at Ocean Isle Beach.

From the Christmas parade to the tree lighting and caroling to a visit from Santa topped off by the annual holiday flotilla, you just can’t help but feel the mood of the season tickling at your soul.

It’s festive and happy and a little chilly. The best part is the activities aren’t over yet. This weekend Shallotte fills with holiday cheer as the annual parade lines the streets. And for the first time ever, Christmas on the River is coming to town.

Organizers were looking for a way to keep people in downtown Shallotte after the parade and to create a down-home Christmas atmosphere, and it sounds like the event will be all of that and more.

Each town has its own celebration that helps bring the spirit alive. Make sure to check out this week’s paper for more events coming this week and in the weeks ahead.

I love driving through town and seeing Christmas lights glimmering in the dark. Not only do the lights bring light to the darkness, they lighten my spirit, bring out the kid in me and kindle old memories of Christmas seasons past.

While I don’t think I will be putting up a Christmas tree this year, as I still have mountains of boxes to unpack from moving earlier this month, I will be enjoying the sights and the sounds of the season.

Santa came to my house a little early this year. On Friday night, I was hanging out with a close friend and showing her my new home. As I opened the back door, a present fell into the house. One that has made me smile and laugh as well as shake my head and say “right on.”

I was gifted the “Peanuts Guide to Life.” It is packed with “wit and wisdom from the world’s best-loved cartoon characters.”

I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for just the right gift for someone on their holiday list this season.

So far I have read it at least three times. The advice is simple yet right on target. For example, “Keep looking up…that’s the secret of life,” Snoopy said.

How right that is.

My favorite and perhaps timely tidbit for this time of year is from Charlie Brown, “Giving! The only real joy is giving!”

It is the season of giving. As you head out to the stores to shop this season, don’t forget about those who are less fortunate and in need at this time of year as well as all year. There are many opportunities to help, from dropping a dollar or two into a Salvation Army kettle, to purchasing a toy for the Toys for Tots campaign, to dropping off canned goods at a food shelter or donating unused items from around the house.

Giving this season can be as small as a smile and a kind word. As we scurry about, take the time to smile at a stranger. You never know what a difference one small smile or a kind word can do.

I encourage everyone to be the givers of hope this holiday season. Slow down and enjoy the sights and sounds and be the difference in someone else’s life that matters.

“They say if you become a better person, you’ll have a better life…” Charlie Brown said.

 

Rachel Johnson is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.