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Embracing The Holiday Spirit
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Thanksgiving really got the holiday season kicked into gear for me. Yes, I know that turkey day was already a couple of weeks ago but it was a day I truly enjoyed and sharing some ‘good will’ with folks put me into the holiday mood.

For years I have covered the Escalon Community Thanksgiving Dinner and have also occasionally gotten photos at the Spirit of Oakdale event the same day. This year my schedule had me at both; Oakdale was crazy with the amount of people they served but what impressed me more was just the laughter, the camaraderie of the workers, the selflessness of people spending what is considered a traditional ‘family’ day serving others.

But if you asked the volunteers, I would suspect they would tell you they were with family – the family that is community. The family that comes together in a common effort to serve a larger purpose. Oakdale not only put on a huge dinner, they had face painting, a present for each child coming through the door, crafts for the kids so they had some projects to take home and those that needed it were also sent home with a grocery bag full of food.

In Escalon, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner has also evolved over the years – this time they had more ‘take outs’ and home deliveries than those eating in and they would like to change that next year – bringing the meal back to the original thought, those who would otherwise be alone or have minimal family in the area can come together in one location and share the day.

This year I was able to make a few home deliveries of meals for Escalon and was pleased that I knew those whose dinners I delivered. We were able to visit for a few moments and share pleasantries about life and the holidays. Many of those dining in I have also crossed paths with and enjoyed spending some time with them as well. My daughter was actually at work for a good portion of the day – her first true holiday shift as a member of the adult working world – and so she and I had ‘take out’ meals from the Escalon dinner to eat later on in the afternoon. And with no dishes to do afterward, except for a couple of forks, that was an added bonus.

As we ease our way into December, the Christmas holiday looms. Yes, I have purchased a few items but need to get my shopping started in earnest, especially for those packages that have to get to the East Coast family members before the big day.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday – both survived just fine without me participating. I will be getting out there soon, though.

Also a side note on a column from a couple of months back, when I dealt with my fondness for all things popcorn. Shortly after that, there was a ‘Sunday in the Park’ event hosted in Escalon and the Historical Society brought out its movie theatre-style popcorn popper, as they do for many community festivities. The representatives on hand presented me with a very special ‘Marg in Charge’ popcorn container with the red and white stripes, the container that’s small at the bottom, larger at the top, reminiscent of circuses and Saturday afternoon movie matinees. Of course it was filled with their tasty popcorn, and I also this past week received a popcorn tin from a friend for my birthday. Makes me wonder what else I could mention in these pages and have it appear … It is the holiday season, after all – a time of magic and wonder, right?

Here’s hoping there’s some magic in the season for you and yours as well.



Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.