Happy holidays all around

Boy, do I have a big surprise in stock for all six of my regular readers this week! We are publishing one edition on Dec. 19 (the one you are reading) and then (as if by magic) we will turn around and publish another on Dec. 21 … a collectible edition with all the 2012 letters to Santa from the preschool and primary grade students at Peabody-Burns Elementary School and many other county students’ letters. Yup, that is how it is going to play out.

Just about the time you get through reading the regular edition for this week, another will be arriving in your mailbox or at your favorite vendor. If you don’t know for sure what your child has on his or her list, that is the issue you are going to need and you are going to need it FAST!

As usual, there are some amazing requests. One preschooler requested rain from Santa. An older child asked him to remember the poor because they never get anything and the child thinks they all have been good. One calls Santa his hero and several never get around to asking for anything!

I always like putting that issue together because kids are just so great. Anymore I seldom know who they are, but there certainly are some I would like to meet!

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A couple of weeks ago Hoch Publishing printed a page of community events that included each town in Marion County. Peabody was well represented except for the fact that there was no all-community event to bring Santa to town, no parade, no holiday extravaganza with music, lights, or anything festive. I knew when I sent the information in that we would not be front and center with that kind of holiday occasion.

I know that Peabody Main Street tried for quite a few years to host communitywide Christmas events, but for some reason, they just never took off.

No matter how much we advertised (or what kind of cash prize we offered for winning entries) there were few or no floats or entries for the parade. Santa came to town, but there were no children to crawl into his lap and tell him their wishes. Special events at community businesses were ignored and other attempts at creating a festive atmosphere fizzled. Eventually there was no community Christmas event. Are you happy with this?

Perhaps those things are not on anyone’s wish list. My children are grown and their days of meeting Santa downtown on a fire truck or sleigh and getting a bag of candy are long gone. Back then, “Santa Jesse” or “Santa Ralph” heard everyone’s wish list to the final item. But those were always a great part of growing up in a small town. Obviously, it still is so in some places since every other Marion County community noted that kind of event for its children.

I wonder if there is a group out there that would like to resurrect some of those activities in Peabody? There may be a way to get some funding to help make it happen and I happen to be the proud owner of a Santa suit (shh … I didn’t say that!) that could be loaned out if there was a “cute jolly elf” willing to wear it and listen to the little ones. There are alternatives to all of these suggestions if you would like to see a different result.

If you would like to see a child’s holiday event happen, you have a year to get it going. You can get a whole lot done in a year! Christmas is a magical time for children. Those of you who have kids still writing the letters you will see in the next paper should step up to the plate and help provide the magic. Santa on hand in our community is not an issue with me, but I wonder why you don’t want that experience for your child?

— SUSAN MARSHALL

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