“For Christmas, with its lots an’ lots of candies, cakes, an’ toys, / Was made, they say, for proper kids an’ not for naughty boys; / So wash yer face an’ bresh yer hair, an’ mind yer p’s and q’s, / An’ don’t bust out yer pantaloons, and don’t wear out yer shoes; / Say ‘Yessum’ to the ladies, and ‘Yessur’ to the men,

An’ when they’s company, don’t pass yer plate for pie again; / But, thinkin’ of the things yer’d like to see upon that tree, / Jest ’fore Christmas be as good as yer kin be!”

– From “Jest ’fore Christmas”

by Eugene Field

OK, folks the countdown until Christmas is getting smaller and smaller. The days “’til” are single digit now, and this time next week, it’ll be all over but the taking down of the tree and throwing out the wrapping.

That’s all right, of course, because we’ve got today with all its exciting “getting ready for, some shopping left to do and groceries still to buy” activities. It’s just before Christmas, with the lights all merry and bright and hope and happiness filling the air.

Special to our town today, of course, is that it’s the “shopping day” for those who benefit from the annual Toys for Kids drive. It’s a busy, crazy day at the TfK headquarters, 2325 Belle Plain, and if you’d like to volunteer to help distribute the toys, please do drop by – or if you’d like to add a toy or two to the collection, that would also be very appreciated.

But whatever you do, and wherever you go, remember, ’t’is the season. Wish all the folks you meet a merry Christmas and a happy new year, and mean it when you do – and maybe all your good wishes will come right back to you.

Make it a ‘Choo Choo’ Christmas

All aboard for The Martin and Frances Lehnis Railroad Museum, Santa’s made a stop there and will be ready, willing and more than happy to visit with boys and girls in the Kress Depot. Have your picture taken with jolly old St. Nick. Today’s the last day for the “Choo Choo Christmas” and (speaking of old and jolly) Candace Cooksey Fulton will be inside the museum for story time at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. reading aloud “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg.

Remember, too, the model railroad club is holding a drawing for a Lionel train set worth $160. Chances are $2 each or three for $5 and the drawing will be held on Dec. 19, just in time for a Christmas present.

And finally, just when you think it can’t get any better, there is a December special going on through today. Admission for the museum is $2 per person for all the people age 5 and older. Kiddies younger than 5 get in for free.

Help for a family

The Zephyr 4-H is hosting a Community Christmas Caroling to benefit the family of David Mangus from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. under the Zephyr tabernacle, across from the Zephyr United Methodist Church. David Mangus was killed in a car wreck earlier this month and all donations made at the caroling event will go to his widow and three young children – Dustin, a fourth-grader; Sidney, a third-grader; and J.C., a first-grader. In addition to the available donation box, there will be a Christmas tree set up for gifts for the family.

And by the way

• TexasBank, 501 East Hall, Bangs, will have its lobby open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with local artists and crafters showing and selling their artworks and craft projects.

• The Brown County Museum of History is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday, and on other days by appointment. Call 641-1926.

• The Heart of Texas Dance Club meets from 7 to 9 p.m. each Saturday at St. John’s Church, on Main and Depot, for open dance practice. Cost is $2 per person. Call 646-0048 or 646-0037 for information.

• The Lake Brownwood Lions Club, 6751 Highway 279, will host bingo at 1:30 p.m. and a country musical from 6 to 10 p.m.