FROM THE EDITOR:
Hot Springs residents look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends and are eagerly anticipating the Christmas season that follows.
Soon, the Spa City’s natural beauty will be enhanced by glittering home and business adornments and its always inviting ambiance will sparkle even more.
Turkey with all the trimmings and other favorite traditions, combined with establishing new ones, remind us that giving thanks for our many blessings and finding ways to be of service to others do bring us a special joy de vivre.
The generous hearts and helping hands of Hot Springs’ virtual army of volunteers make possible events that uplift our spirits, bring us hope and renewal, and personify the term, “community.”
On Saturday, Nov. 17, The Salvation Army and its “helpers” will kick off the Angel Tree and Red Kettle program at Hot Springs Mall; that same day, and continuing to Dec. 31, Garvan Woodland Gardens’ cheerful cadre of elves turns on the Holiday Lights display that transforms its grounds into a twinkling fantasyland. Jolly merchants host a hot time and cool Yule gathering on Monday, Nov. 19, when they host the Ninth Annual Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser and Lighting Display at the Exchange Street Parking Plaza. Mid-America Science Museum will treat guests and patrons to a variety of delectables when it presents the 13th Annual Taste of the Holidays on Dec. 2.
And Santa himself is likely to make an early appearance on Dec. 3 when children of all ages “ooh and aah” at the creative floats and other imaginative entries of this year’s Christmas Parade as winds its way through the downtown.
My childhood chum, Mollie Muldoon, nee Lollis, and I grew up just houses apart on Woodbine and thus shared many Thanksgiving and Christmas observances. We rode our bicycles or skipped back and forth between residences, eagerly awaiting a chance to try the baked goods that came from her mother’s kitchen or from that of my paternal grandmother, who lived in the duplex apartment next to my parents.
We put tinsel on the live trees and told one another what we secretly wanted to find under them on Christmas Day. We tied red and green Christmas bows around our cats’ necks and marveled at the pretty wreaths neighbors hung on their doors. Life was good then and on every hallmark occasion because people, not things, mattered the most.
Even though personal and career choices took us in different directions in early adulthood, Mollie and I have, more often than not, broken bread together on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each season, the magnificent tree in her great room, aglow with lights and festooned with unique decorations, stands tall and is a testament to familial love and lasting friendships.
Gift wrap your favorite holiday memories and keep them safe for all time. These are the best presents anyone can have.
Melinda B. Gassaway Executive editor