Dr. Bill Atwood

Want to get in the Christmas spirit? Try trees and toys with two special organizations

Columnist Dr. Bill Atwood has two suggestions for ways you can get into the Christmas spirit – and both are happening Saturday.
Columnist Dr. Bill Atwood has two suggestions for ways you can get into the Christmas spirit – and both are happening Saturday. MCT file illustration

The Thanksgiving turkey is now just a memory and most of us have finished off the last of the leftovers. With the last bite of Turkey-ala-King we begin to realize that the season of Christmas is upon us. In today’s culture there happen to really exist two Christmases that have little in common except December.

The secular Christmas centers around Santa Claus, reindeer, trees, gift exchanges, many parties and holiday meals. The religious observance of Christmas centers on the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the Magi, the Star in the East and the actual Twelve Days of Christmas which begin at sundown on Christmas Eve and end in January. Jan. 6 is the Night of the Epiphany which means the Christmas season in the church calendar is complete.

This week I want to share with you the beginnings of the secular holiday cheer. On Saturday two events take place and both fit the Christmas Spirit to a “T.”

christmas trees
The North Fork Scout Fund’s annual Christmas Tree Sale will begin on Saturday, Dec. 1. Sierra Star archive

Christmas Tree Sale

The first “T” is the annual Christmas Tree Sale in North Fork conducted by the members of the Scouting organizations that are centered in the center part of California.

I have been buying from those scouts since 1981 and have always enjoyed having a fresh-cut tree in my house to celebrate the holiday. The trees are cut by the men and the boys of the troop the week before Thanksgiving, hauled to a secure spot in North Fork and then on the first Saturday in December right behind the Library those scouts will help you select that perfect tree for your family and home or office. They have short trees, medium-size trees, large trees and jumbo-sized for the persons who need the Paul Bunyan Christmas tree effect.

All the proceeds, minus any fees charged by the federal government for cutting the trees, goes directly to the Scouts Fund to help finance their activities for the year. I like the thought of the scouts helping to get the trees, sell the trees and collect the money. It teaches them a great deal about earning their way.

Trees are only $3 per foot and the first foot is always free. Scoutmaster Dave Smith even throws in the string to help you tie it to your car. See you Saturday.

toys for tots file
The Marine Corps League holds its annual Toys for Tots drive Saturday in the parking lot of the Old Mill Center (Von’s) in Oakhurst. Sierra Star archive

Toys for Tots

The other “T” stop is at the Old Mill Center (Von’s) in Oakhurst. The Marine Corps League will be standing in the parking lot ready to collect your donation to Toys for Tots. Bring an unwrapped, new toy for any tot and hand it over to a burly Marine who will wrap it and help Santa deliver it to a child in this area. You can just bring a check and the Marines will even do the shopping. They get really great discounts so your dollar goes a long way. You can also do both, gift and a check!

The firefighters will be there, old cars will be on display, there will be law enforcement heroes, as well, so it is a fun and easy way to share with kids who just might wake up to nothing under the tree unless we help the Marines in their duty to our favorite Jolly Old Elf. This is the Marine’s 71st year of helping Santa; let’s make it the best yet.

This Saturday’s events sure will suit many to a “T”

Trees from the troop and Toys for Tots sure sounds like a dandy way to kick off the holiday. While you are out look around and shop locally as well as consider having a meal in one of our many restaurants.