It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s the time when neighbors help neighbors, when we all turn inwards and find that special warmth that signals the holidays are upon us and — while many of us will test our willpower with all the great food offered at this time of the year — we also think of giving.

Even as we watch our budgets shrink in order to buy the extra gift for Mom or that special someone, our belts seem to expand as the bank account sinks.

But we know the rewards of giving. For those of you that have seen the movie A Christmas Story, just remember that joyous gleam in Ralphie’s eyes as he pulled out the Red Ryder BB Gun he so wanted, and the similar look in his father’s eyes as he opened his... “unique” lamp. The message is clear: It just feels good to give.

The Greensburg Daily News Cheer Fund has been dedicated to encouraging those good feelings to residents of Decatur County for close to 90 years now. Last year, we served 257 families and we always hope to do even better. The funding goal of $37,500. The first application will run in the newspaper on Monday and in ensuing issues of The Daily News. The deadline for applications is Dec. 7.

All the gifts, with Santa’s special helpers, will be delivered Christmas Eve. Even with the storms last holiday season, the delivery folks made the effort and got the gifts delivered by Christmas.

Coats, new toys, and money donations will be accepted at collection points around town, including the Angel Tree at Wal-Mart, the Dollar General, and the Sprint store and, of course, at front counter of The Greensburg Daily News office. You can also mail your donation: Greensburg Daily News Cheer Fund, 135 S Franklin St., Greensburg, 47240-2023.

So this holiday season, before the belts get retired and A Christmas Story has its 24-hour marathon (I’ll be watching), remember the smiles that The Greensburg Daily News Cheer Fund will be giving to Decatur County families. Let’s all make their eyes light up with joy.

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