From my doorway…
A Christmas message from Merrill Chamber of Commerce CEO Debbe Kinsey
Merry Christmas! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Merrill. The snowflakes are up, the green garland is around the poles, and the parade line-up is getting bigger by the day. The only thing that it can mean is that Jolly Ole’ St. Nick is packing his sleigh and will be soon on his way visiting all good boys and good girls!
Christmas always seems to come and go so quickly, it would be nice to be able to slow down time a little and let the good times linger just a bit…
Just long enough to breath in the smells of fresh evergreen, spices and cookies. Just long enough to soak up the twinkling lights and the sounds of Christmas carols. Just long enough to let the sight of all the little ones sparkling eyes and happy faces soaking in the magic of the season. And just long enough to remember Christmas’s of the past and loved ones that are missed and forever in our hearts.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and it was my mom’s too. She left us far too soon, so on Christmas Eve for the past 20 years, I always take a few quiet moments outside looking at the stars and talking to her. She loved us beyond words and her only two grandsons dearly. Now there are two little ones who will never know any of their great-grandparents but I know they are all there because I see them laughing and crying in happiness, as they watch over them, in my minds-eye.
It doesn’t take money to have a special holiday. I say this every year, but people seem kinder at Christmas. Just saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays can put a smile on someone’s face and brighten their day.
Volunteering at an organization, a church, a school or ringing a bell can put a smile one someone’s face. Donating a toy or gift for the small ones or the elderly brings big smiles that you may never see, but trust me, someone sees it and you can take that to the bank in your heart.
Whether near or far, many will be alone for the holidays. Some with family far away, some working, and some with no family at all. Take a moment and pick up the telephone or stop by or invite them over. What’s one more at the dinner table, right?
We are also very thankful for Merrill this time of year. Our businesses help to make the season cheery by stocking their shelves so you can shop local. By stocking the food pantry shelves. By donating toys and gifts to those less fortunate. Thousands line the parade route to kick-off the season. Park Manor neighborhood lights up the Bell Tower area with thousands of luminarias. The O’Tannenbaum Tour decks the halls. Mitchell Metal Products donates wreath rings for the graves at Arlington Cemetery. Very Merrill Christmas Cards are sent around the world. Choirs sing and a live Nativity helps kick off the season.
Thousands buy Merrill Gift Certificates to keep money revolving here in Merrill. Businesses raise funds, donate gifts, and help deliver food and dinners to the elderly. And one special lady knits sweaters, hats and mittens all winter long and donates them to us every year for the Bundle Up Program.
We have had a wonderful year. Businesses are working hard and doing well. We are working hard to help with special programs designed to market businesses to schools and job seekers. Unemployment is at an all-time low, businesses are expanding, tourism is at an all-time high, the state is beginning to market Wisconsin as a place to live and work. And our businesses are recognizing their Circle of Influence and are taking part in programming and using the networking circles to their advantage.
Merrill is on the grow! There are so many exciting things happening right now and in the works for the future. Take off the dark glasses and have some 20/20 vision! Our future is taking shape right now, right before our eyes. Just peel away the negativity and let the Merrill sunshine in!
Soak up the joy of the season. Make a choice to build up Merrill and not tear it down. Decide to be part of Merrill’s solution and Merrill’s future. The truth is that our future is coming, no one can stop it…Together we can make it happen – bigger and brighter.
Pick-up a sign this holiday that simply says Believe… keep it in front of you all year round. We all need to believe like a child in the magic, the wonder and spectacle of the season year-round. As adults we know a lot of hard work goes into making the magic happen but we do it anyway.
I believe that Merrill can be whatever we want it to be. I believe we have the talent, the dedication, the tools, the resources to make Merrill whatever it wants to be. I believe that our future begins today with you and with me.
I believe that we can be Very Merrill all the year through. With the belief of a child, with the hard work of an adult and the talent of a professional. I believe in you. I believe in us.
So, from my doorway to yours, Have a Very Merrill season all year through! The Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.