Happy Holidays to everyone! This is a great time of year for us all. The kids have a nice break from school, family visits are common and everything is so festive. If you do not celebrate one of the holidays at this time, it is a great time to enjoy your family. In our community, we have several celebrations happening.

Mona Corfman celebrates Hanukkah, which started Dec. 20 after sunset and will be celebrated for eight days. This is the Jewish Festival of Lights. A candle is lit each night on the menorah for eight days and special prayers are said.


Laura Gwyer celebrates Festivus Friday, Dec. 23. This holiday is a time to celebrate the holiday without including any of the commercial or pressure of the holiday season. Its symbol is an aluminum pole in place of a tree. Happy Festivus for those who celebrate.

I will celebrate Christmas Sunday, Dec. 25. It is a celebration of the birth of Christ by Christians. Merry Christmas to everyone enjoying this celebration.

Vivian Smith will celebrate Kwanzaa Dec. 26-Jan. 1. This is a time for African Americans to focus on their family, community and culture. The seven principles are the focus for each day; Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. A candle is lit each day: one Black for the people, three Red for their struggle and three Green for the future and hope.

During this time of year, we think about our lives and how we have so much. Have you thought about what you can do in 2012 to help give back to your community? Here are a few suggestions for the North Laurel area.

Rebuilding Together is a group in Howard County that helps low income and senior residents with repairs to their homes as well as helps modifies homes for people who have an injury, disability or illness. Sign up today to help others by going to http://www.rebuildingtogetherhc.org.

Have you joined your child's Parent-Teacher Association yet? There is still time. More importantly, are you helping out at the school? There are many ways you can help, even if you work a full time job. Contact your local PTA and find out more. In the North Laurel area alone we feed into 10 public schools.

Have you joined the North Laurel Civic Association? This association works hard to represent our area. Everyone that lives in the 20723 ZIP code,is a member. Why not join and become a voting member as well as an active one.

The next meeting will be Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. at the North Laurel Community Center. Come to the meeting and meet neighbors and get involved. Come a bit early to socialize before the meeting. For more information, why not contact Bibi H. Perrotte-Foston at 240-786-5747 or come to the meeting. Membership is only $10 for the year and it includes updates on happenings in the community.