Holiday news coverage places emphasis on events, organizers

Published 6:02 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

During the holiday season, communities and families gather to enjoy a variety of celebrations — Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, the New Year, and a host of others.

The gatherings boast food, fellowship, games, worship, singing, gifts, and artistic expressions like dancing or holiday-themed performances.

Such events take center stage, becoming the highlight of the holidays.

Media personnel balance their time during a busy season, buying gifts and celebrating with friends and family while also providing coverage of holiday events and festivities.

We usually enjoy the celebrations we cover, but we tend to focus on the organizer in hopes of sharing ‘why’ their event will inspire others to replicate the effort in their own unique way.

For many years, I participated in holiday events such as the Alabama-Crenshaw Baptist Association’s annual nursing home Christmas event, collecting gifts we distributed among Luverne Health and Rehabilitation residents.

This year, in my first holiday season as a full-time journalist, I helped with the event, but my focus shifted to the volunteers and the organizer, Whitney Exline, who coordinated the effort so every resident and staff member received a Christmas blessing.

Speaking to individuals and groups who organized celebrations and outreach events warmed my heart in a new and exciting way during the holiday season.

I felt inspired by Neamon Rudolph, who partnered with Lowndes County Sheriff Chris West to plan The Gathering, a New Year’s Day brunch intended to reunite Lowndes County residents.

Her desire to have officials, community leaders, pastors, and citizens all together celebrating the New Year embodies unity and hope for the coming year.

And, in addition to providing coverage of holiday events, being part of a family of newspapers led me to follow the work of my peers, learning how the American Legion Post 24 hosted a Christmas breakfast for two dozen veterans in Greenville on Dec. 17.

Discovering all the different ways communities celebrate and serve others during the holidays creates an indescribable joy. With so much wrong with the world, some things are still very right in our rural communities.

We hope everyone experiences the joys of the holiday season and experiences the joys of learning all the wonderful ways communities are gathering to share the holiday spirit.