Delivering Christmas

No sooner have we cleared the table and put the leftovers in the fridge, then it’s time to deck the halls. It seems Christmas comes faster and faster with each passing year, and there’s more and more to do.

While the rest of the world is out spreading the wealth today on Black Friday, we at The Evening Sun are getting into the holiday spirit in our own way. After today’s paper is done, we’ll likely spend the afternoon constructing our float for Saturday’s Christmas to Remember – Parade of Lights.

Parade organizer Linda Green and I were talking last week about how our Evening Sun involvement in the annual after-Thanksgiving parade is hovering around 15 years, give or take. Our flatbed-hosted float is more of a recent development; while Linda’s spent the last decade and a half herding parade groups and organizing the lineup, my participation has varied greatly over the years. Float, judge, balloon wrangler, sign carrier, costumed character – I’ve pretty much done it all except ride a horse or wear the Santa suit.

Doing a float, I’d say, is my favorite parade activity. Not only is it an excellent team-building exercise (read: excuse to drink), it’s also a good way for us to be seen in the community. Like many other aspects of our daily enterprise, we may be held together with duct tape and a prayer behind the facade, but we sure look snappy in our presentation.

While our company floats have run the gamut over the years from slapped-together to well-planned, it wasn’t until this year that we really brainstormed a cohesive theme – one that will not only (hopefully) get us through Saturday night’s parade down Broad Street, but through the entire holiday season: Delivering Christmas.

Delivering, of course, is something we do here every day. Our team of reporters delivers news, sports and entertainment; our sales team delivers customer service; our pressroom and circulation teams deliver the very product you’re holding right now (if you’re reading online, that would be the IT team, I suppose). In thinking about a theme for our float that would carry us through the season, we thought of all the holiday-themed coverage we do every year – taking pictures of other individuals and organizations who do good things in the yuletide spirit, and then writing up a story about it. This year, instead of simply being an observer of good will toward men, my intrepid team of Evening Sun reporters will not only be taking pictures and writing stories about their do-gooder neighbors, they’ll be pitching in to help themselves.

From food pantries to school events, wreath sales to soup kitchens, the newspaper’s staff will be pitching in for an hour or two at various locations to give a little back to the community which has been so good to us throughout the year. Donning logo-emblazoned aprons and Santa hats (torturing my staff during the holidays by making them dress up is a time-honored tradition for me; just ask poor Mike McGuire), our newsroom staff will volunteer to help these other organizations make their holiday projects a reality – Delivering Christmas.

We’ve got 19 issues between now and Dec. 25 to pull this off, and starting Monday you’ll see a daily Delivering Christmas story on our front page. If you need an able-bodied volunteer to help with a holiday-themed project, and want some goodwill publicity to boot, give me a call and I’ll send you one of my elves. Hopefully, our little endeavour will inspire you all to deliver a little Christmas in your own way.

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