The Banks County News
December 15, 1999
for planning commission
Help Wanted: Banks County residents needed who are willing to
meet once a month, often for several hours, to tell their neighbors
what they can or can't do with their property. They may be met
with controversy and abuse from disgruntled citizens. They may
be bombarded with phone calls and take time out of their lives
to visit property before making a decision. Candidates don't
need to apply for the fame or fortune this position will bring.
Serving on a county planning commission is one of the toughest
things a person can volunteer to do. Banks County has been fortunate
to have many quality people to serve over the years. But several
terms on the planning commission have expired or will soon. This
will leave the board of commissioners scrambling to fill the
posts. The current members are being encouraged to apply, along
with others who are interested in serving.
Unfortunately, it is not a highly coveted position. Those who
serve do it out of a love of their community and a desire to
see it prepared to meet the needs of the future.
Those wishing to apply are asked to send a letter to the board
of commissioners. We encourage the BOC to review them carefully
and fill these posts with people who are dedicated and knowledgeable
of what is necessary to serve.
The Banks County News
December 15, 1999
It shouldn't be hard
to find the reason we celebrate this season
I was an angel once. As hard as my co-workers may find that to
believe, I was an official angel with the wings and halo.
My angel days came at Nicholson Baptist Church when I was much
younger. We did the traditional Christmas play every year with
the manger scene, the wise men and the shepherds. The story never
changed, but the emotion and spirit remained high each year.
The hymns never changed either, but their words still move me
in ways that no other songs can. "Away in a Manger,"
"Silent Night" and "Joy to the World" have
long been my favorites and I enjoy hearing them throughout the
Christmas season. They always bring a sparkle to my eye and a
smile to my face.
Another early Christmas memory is of going out into the woods
behind our house with my sister and daddy to find the perfect
tree for our living room. The trees may have sometimes been kind
of sad-looking with dents in all of the wrong places and
a funny shape but they were special to us. We put all of
our traditional ornaments on the tree, including the cardboard
oatmeal cookie that I made in elementary school and the reindeer
Amanda made. We also left out a piece of Mama's wonderful chocolate
pie for Santa.
My early Christmas memories are similar to those of many people
in our areagoing to church Christmas programs on the birth
of Jesus and enjoying family traditions. That is what the season
is all about. It's not about shopping and Santa and presents.
All of that is fun, but it is not what the holiday is about.
For all of those people who say they are not in the "spirit,"
I have one bit of advice. Instead of worrying about all of the
shopping that you have to do, pull out your Bible and read the
story of the birth of Christ. If you read this passage and do
not feel the spirit of this season, something is definitely wrong.
"She (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call
his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
(Matthew 1:21) This gives us hope and it gives us faith.
Something else I enjoy during this holiday season is pulling
out my copy of "The Charlie Brown Christmas Special."
It was written three decades ago but it is still pertinent today.
Charlie Brown is one of those people who doesn't have the "Christmas
spirit." He complains about the commercialism and the lack
of Christmas cards in his mailbox. Charlie is lost and he needs
All it takes is for Linus to read from the Bible to open Charlie
Brown's eyes and those of his friends. They realize how lost
they have been and what the true meaning of Christmas is all
about. It may only be a cartoon but it is filled with what this
celebration is all about.
As this holiday season approaches, please remember what we are
really celebrating. It is wonderful to give presents, but it
is even more wonderful to share the story of the birth of Jesus.
Go to those Christmas plays, read the Bible (both alone and aloud
to your children) and enjoy what it is all about.
Not many days go by that I don't thank God for my life and my
health. It may be first thing in the morning, it may be the last
thing at night or it might be while I am driving down the road.
I don't even have to have my head bowed or my eyes closed. I
just thank God for my health and what I have.
A comment made by the guest speaker at a Christmas dinner last
week reaffirmed this to me. He said, "Every day is a gift
from God." I shook my head agreeing that this really is
the greatest gift of all. I went home and repeated it to my sister.
I decided to make it my motto. I would start each day saying
this and thanking God for another day. While it is something
that I already knew and lived by, I appreciated the reminder.
This holiday season, please remember what we are celebrating
and offer thanks for what you have. Instead of getting caught
up in the hustle and bustle, take time to appreciate what we
are really celebrating.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate
editor of The Jackson Herald.