Sometimes this time of the year can get to be a little hard to take. All of the commercials are screaming at us to be jolly and happy and merry and thankful.

All the while they make us feel like if we can’t buy everyone we know that “perfect” thing then we aren’t living our lives on some level.

But, it never fails that I find a reason to be thankful and joyous in the most unusual places. It happened today as I worked on copy for an upcoming issue of Grayson Magazine. The copy dealt with wish lists from area non profits and one such organization sent in a list of gifts requested by its clients. The copy said a man in his 50s, who is developmentally only a young teenager, wants a pair of red shoes, some sweat pants and coloring books. The copy said he loves to look at the newspaper. There were about a dozen more requests from people who were as old as their 80s but as young a toddlers in their minds. Their simple requests left me almost in tears.

That list made me think of the people in nursing homes who would love just to have a warm pair of slippers and a visit from someone who loves them. It made me think of the homeless who would love a warm place to stay when it is cold and the knowledge that someone cared for them.

In the coming weeks, we are going to be running our wish list feature again. And again, we will ask our readers to search those stories for a nonprofit whose mission touches your heart and then to give. Their needs aren’t always about huge monetary donations. Sometimes, all they need a human being with a kind heart and warm smile who can read paper with them or to someone who can’t, or someone who will sit and color in coloring book without regard for the age of their coloring partner.

Happy birthday to Kelly Westbrook Porter of Dallas; Shirley Henderson, Jerry Guess, Gordon Ray Duke, Edward Jessie Delphin, and Frances Holland, all of Sherman; Dick Ellis of Tyler; and Mary Casteel Bauer of Milton, Florida.