Two Cents Worth – Dec 9, 2015

It can be hard to get into the Christmas season some years. Time just seems to fly from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Then, before you know it, Christmas has arrived.  Then a week later, you’re celebrating the new year.  The holidays tend to fly by.

In years past I’ve forced myself to go through the motions knowing that the Christmas season would hit me at some point.  What I mean, specifically, is that I make it a point to get my shopping done so that when its time for Christmas I’m not empty handed for everyone. Then I take it easy, embrace the season, and enjoy Christmas a bit… but that usually doesn’t happen until Christmas Eve or so.

This year has been a bit different. I’ve gone to quite a few Christmas events already this year for the paper and, while time is still flying by, I definitely feel like the holidays are in full swing.  There are food and toy drives taking place all over the area. Not to mention all the countless Christmas parties that are scheduled.

However, the Shop with a Cop event last Sunday was the one event so far that has exemplified the pure spirit of Christmas, at least to me. The O’Fallon Police took local kids who need a hand in having a good Christmas shopping for presents for their family members. Back in 2001 when the program began, the police department took 15 kids shopping and allowed them to spend about $100 each. This year, around 40 kids went shopping with police officers and were able to spend around $200 to $250 each.

I watched two kids, a bother and sister, shop around Walmart with Officer Adam Taulbee.  Officer Taulbee took the kids all over the store and helped them pick out a variety of presents for their family members.  One thing that stood out to me was that, at the top of the two kids’ Christmas lists, was a toy for Toys for Tots. Here were two kids that maybe didn’t have a lot themselves and they were looking out for even less fortunate kids at Christmas time. Those kids are being raised right.

The police department raises the money used for this program at their annual golf tournament and through the sale of Christmas ornaments.  People and businesses can also donate specifically to this program if they so choose.  Foe example, Walmart donated $2,500 towards Sunday’s shopping.

The Christmas season is about giving and love for one another. I’d be hard pressed to find another event that exemplified that more than the shopping with a cop program. My spirit has come a lot earlier this year.

Now if I could just find time to get started on shopping for everyone, I’ll really be ahead of the game.