By Martha Williams

We had a great Thanksgiving, and I hope you did, too. This is the first year I did nothing because my daughter did it all, though I must admit it seemed a bit strange not to be fixing something. I guess old age can have its privileges.

Now the focus is Christmas, and the commercials on TV are showing all sorts of things. But I have a tendency to be irritated by some of them, because I think they are written on about the third grade level and “You want this so bug your parents... or you want your husband to give you this necklace or bracelet...”

But this year, I have been seeing one that is sweet, and focused on giving. I think I had to see it three or four times before I saw the whole thing, because I generally ignore them. Five stars to Hobby Lobby.

A little girl on a farm watches as a sheep is sheared. Then she goes to her room, gets a blanket and goes to the barn, and spreads that blanket over the just-sheared sheep. A focus on caring and giving rather than getting.

The shoeboxes have been packed off to Operation Christmas Child headquarters, and soon we should have this years numbers.

I remember the first time I heard about this project, something like 11 or 12 years ago, and decided to do a box, and chronicle it’s progress in this column. I bought a plastic shoebox at Dollar Tree, and, going down the list of acceptable items, purchased one item a week, listing the item and it’s price. Most things I got at Dollar Tree, and a few things I also got at Walmart — like a T-shirt — and when it was time to turn it in, the box was packed real full, and I had invested $30 total. But at $1 average a week, I hardly noticed the cost and you only had to hear as the young lady who received a box as a child spoke at Foursquare church a few weeks ago to realize what a worthy cause it is.

Christmas programs should be lining up soon, and Crescent City Methodist has the first one sent to me. With a new choir director, they have made some changes, and will present a Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 16. In addition to the choir, they have expanded the bell choir, something I have not heard in a long time. It love how a group of people can maneuver those bells to ring out the music.

It always amazes me that church attendance is the most on Christmas and Easter. With all the wonderful churches we have here, people have so many choices in where to attend. Whatever your choice, traditional, contemporary, charismatic — it’s here. And I wonder if some folks realize what a blessing they might be missing by skipping church the rest of the year.

Please be sure to send your church Christmas programs. One year in the past, there were so many great programs on the holiday in so many of our churches that this column spilled over onto a second page.

To contact Martha Williams, call or text at 460-3000, or email