Banks County Opinions...

DECEMBER 25, 2002


The Banks County News
December 25, 2002

Local couple should be an inspiration
They are relatively newcomers to Banks County, having lived here only two years. But that hasn’t stopped Paul and Michelle Skeggs from taking on several large volunteer projects that have made our community a better place to live.
The couple, along with other volunteers, prepared and served a holiday lunch at the Banks County Senior Citizen’s Center last week. This is the first time the Skeggses have volunteered their time. They took the women at the center to lunch for Mother’s Day and helped the group make hats for Easter.
This kind of devotion is what volunteering is all about. Some people may not have as much time to give, but just an hour each week could make all the difference to someone in need.
We should all take note of people like Paul and Michelle Skeggs, who serve as a role model for young and old alike.
For more information about volunteering at the Banks County Senior Center, call 677-3275. Other places to volunteer include schools, churches and nursing homes.

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By: Angela Gary
The Banks County News
December 25, 2002

Cherish those Christmas memories
My 1-year-old nephew squatting down, his mouth wide open, to look at the train race around the Christmas tree.
His same look of wonder as he looks at the lights on the Christmas tree in another room.
This is one of my newest Christmas memories that I know I will always cherish.
I have many more filed away in my memory box and they float through my mind often, making me smile and laugh.
Some of my earliest Christmas memories are of going out into the woods behind our house with my sister and dad to find a Christmas tree. We didn’t do it on purpose, but we always managed to find the saddest looking “Charlie Brown” tree in the woods.
The tree would look OK out in the woods, but back in the living room, they didn’t look as good.
It didn’t matter. We covered the tree with our favorite ornaments. Some of those same ornaments are still used year after year, despite being frayed. There is the small sliver of blue and silver tassel that was on my parent’s first tree.
There is also the oatmeal cookie I made as a child. It’s just a cut-out circle of thick paper with splotches of white paint on it.
My sister’s contribution is a reindeer she made as a child. We always find room on the tree for these three ornaments from our past. They bring smiles and arguments over who has the prettiest ornament.
My sister and I always went to bed early, leaving a piece of Mama’s homemade chocolate pie and milk for Santa. We also awoke early and headed to the tree to see what Santa had left for us. There was always matching pajamas which we put on for an early morning photograph.
Another Christmas tradition is taking my cat’s photo for next year’s card. He looks the same each year so it doesn’t matter that I take it a year early. I pose him in front of the tree or with his head sticking through a wreath or sitting in a holiday bag.
My favorite is the close up shot of him wearing a Santa hat and his bow tie. I’m sure he enjoys these moments as much as I do. I know my family and friends look forward to the cards each year.
Now, I’ve added taking photographs of my nephew for my sister and brother-in-law’s cards. Of course, we can’t do these a year early because kids change a lot more than cats do.
This year, we had an elaborate backdrop for Jake’s photos. I had a big box wrapped with paper with “Jacob” on it.
A tall Santa was sitting on one side of the box and Jake was sitting in a small wooden chair on the other side. He was wearing a white diaper and a Santa hat.
With all of this planning, the photo we liked best was a candid shot. It was a close up of Jake with a huge bow on his head. Just goes to show that planning isn’t everything. It’s those unplanned, candid moments that often turn out the best.
As this Christmas season ends, please remember to file away those special memories.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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