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Christmas is a time for merriment. Our smiles are a bit bigger, our eyes are a bit brighter and our arms are a bit wider this time of year. I am a lover of the holiday season, mainly for the reasons listed above. I’ll admit that I’m one of those who gets wrapped up in the whole “finding the perfect present” hubbub of the season. I get so caught up in finding the perfect pres-ent for friends and family or attending the “it” social gathering of the holidays that, I’ll admit, I sometimes forget what Christmas is really about.12-07-11-jenny beaver.jpg

I received an email the other day from a friend that said “Put the CHRIST back in CHRISTmas.” This simple phrase really made me stop to think about trying to expe-rience Christmas on a much simpler level and I encourage you to do the same.

Grab a group of friends and sing car-ols around your neighborhood; take your children to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre; contact a local food kitchen and help pro-vide food for our homeless; visit the Cape Fear Botantical Gardens Festival of Lights; choose an angel or two from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree; view A Christmas Carol at the Gilbert Theatre or attend a Christmas Eve service at a local church. Christmas shouldn’t be about how much money we spend on each other but about much time we spend with one another and how much time we spend helping one another.

The Fayetteville Young Professionals hope that you’ll consider joining us this holiday season as well as we kick up our heels and enjoy an evening of Christmas Karaoke and dancing during our annual Holiday Social — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Tacky Sweater Eve on Dec. 15. Dig deep in your closet (or your parents’ clos-ets) and find one of those fun “creative” Christmas sweaters from long ago to dress up our festive evening! Who knows, there may be a visit from Cousin Eddie himself!

FYP will also be accepting $10 dona-tions at the door from our members and guests that will go toward buying presents for several Salvation Army Angel Tree children!

The Holiday Season comes once a year and I hope you’ll join The Fayetteville Young Professionals or whatever organiza-tion, church or friend circle you are a part of, in making this holiday count. After all, the best way to put the CHRIST back in CHRISTmas is by helping your neighbor and appreciating the fortune that we all have been given.

Until 2012 ... Happy Holidays!If you would like to learn more about FYP, become a member or purchase a mem-bership as a Christmas present for a friend, employee or family member, please visit www.fayyp.org or contact Brandon Plotnick at the FAY-CC Chamber of Commerce: 433-6766.

Photo: The Holiday Season comes once a year and I hope you’ll join The Fayetteville Young Professionals or whatever organization, church or friend circle you are a part of, in making this holiday count.

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