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Memory Making Magic

There’s nothing like this community at Christmas time or now more commonly known as the Holiday season. Regardless of what you choose to call it, from the front row seat I get to sit in it’s quite simply- magic.

The spirit of love and giving is alive and well in this community each year around this time. Truth be told, this community always rises up when need occurs. It always rallies for the good as well as the challenging, but Christmas … well, Christmas is the time when we really get a run for our money as the local media.

In complete honesty, it’s plain near impossible to keep up and by my account this is a good problem to have. From the serving of turkey at the Spirit of Oakdale Thanksgiving dinner right up until Christmas day, giving and kindness continues throughout this town.

Last week, just shortly after reviewing my calendar of events this all hit me. I’d missed all the concerts which had happened days before, had attended another event and was passing through town as the Bianchi Center was abuzz with yet another.

Wallets don’t stay closed long around town at this time of year, and I’m not talking by way of personal shopping. It’s truly amazing and inspiring to me the amount of selflessness I encounter on quite literally a daily basis during this four to five week stretch.

Of course the true beauty and magic of it all, is witnessing the joy on not just the recipients’ face but the giver, the volunteer. In 15 years of traveling the giving circuit, I have yet to hear a single negative statement or complaint as people give selflessly of their time, money or both.

Actually, I take that back, there has been a limited amount of grumbles of friends missing out on the Lions shopping extravaganza. But alas those complaints came from missing out due to scheduling conflict or overlooking their e-mail summoning volunteers. Yep. People aren’t complaining about giving of their time, but rather missing the opportunity to do so.

This is the true meaning, spirit and beauty of Christmas. This is what makes the full days so fun and yes, meaningful. In short, it’s just plain fun and a true joy to be on “assignment” amidst all the good.

So what’s the point of all this really? After all we know love and kindness exist at Christmas, that’s far from new news.

In truth, there isn’t truly a point, but rather a reminder or maybe even just a simple reflection. I’ve called a good half dozen zip codes home in my adult life. I’ve experienced this time of year in varying areas of the state, and yes, people are loving and kind there as well. This however, this daily occurrence of selflessness, kindness and love, well it’s indeed a one of a kind type of magic.

So while we might not have snow on the ground, a parade down the center of town or an ice skating rink to hang at on a Friday night we do have magic. Magic … it is abundant and plentiful. I hope you each have a chance to breathe in a bit of it as I have. Even better, I hope you find opportunity to create your own and impact the life of another. At the end of it all, isn’t that what we all want? A little bit of magic and a whole lot of love. Merry Christmas and God Bless.



Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.