Thanksgiving is the time where everyone talks about how grateful they are. And this year was no different.
However, I would say I’m usually more grateful during Christmas.
Some of that is because of the goodness I see in this community.
Each year, I witness the caring and compassion this community has.
There are numerous programs, groups, organizations that put their heart and soul into making sure every one has a good Christmas.
There’s Blue Santa, which has been headed up by Hope Vasquez for a number of years. The work the Blue Santa Program and all its volunteers does is immeasurable.
We have the Feed My Sheep Ministry rom St. James where volunteers serve up dinner, presents and companionship for community members who find themselves in financial binds during the holidays.
They even bring Santa in to help hand out presents for the girls and boys.
There’s another group called Feed My Sheep that deliver groceries
The Salvation Army bell ringers — all volunteers, I might add — who stand at the entrances of WalMart and Walgreens donning a red apron, wearing a smile and greeting customers.
There is the yearly push for the Christian Cupboard to help stock the shelves during this time of year. Although, they could use that help all year long.
Then there’s Ernest Leal who works tirelessly to ensure no one is cold during the winter with the Community Council of South Central Texas’s annual Coat Drive.
There’s the group of motorcyclists who gather donations of toys and food for local families and with Santa on the lead Harley deliver them.
There are so many other amazing things that happen this time of year in this community.
Some of the other reasons I’m thankful are the time I get to spend with my family.
There were years, where we didn’t get to watch as my niece and nephews opened their presents or have that traditional Christmas meal with them, my sister and brother-in-law. But now we get to do it all, I enjoy every minute of it.
I’m grateful we still have our matriarch there to join us in our celebrations. My grandma is the life of the party, and these holidays would not be the same without her.
This year, we welcomed the newest member of our family, my little brother’s first child.
I’m thankful for all of the time that I get to spend with her.
As we inch closer to the new year, my gratitude will not fade, as I’m thankful each and every day.
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.