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Found your Christmas cheer yet?

We’ve thrown out our old Santa tracking equipment here at the newspaper. It’s simply not needed anymore.

The big guy — along with his wife, elves and reindeer — is popping up everywhere in the Miss-Lou.

We’ve seen him high atop a fire truck, at Co-Lin, in an antebellum house, on a trailer turned sleigh in Vidalia and, of course, at the Natchez Mall. And we know we’ll soon see him at Callon Petroleum and perhaps even on ice skates.

The Miss-Lou is Christmas crazy, but that’s a good thing.

Each year, we remind our newsroom staff that December isn’t about the stories we had hoped to cover or the things we needed to get done. Instead, December is devoted to countless fun, encouraging community events that so many people work tirelessly to organize.

The first full week of December 2011 has proven to one of the busiest yet, for all of us and for Santa.

The Christmas in Natchez committee has already successfully hosted a large number of community events. Yet, still more fun kicks off this weekend.

A synthetic ice skating rink will soon pop up on the Natchez bluffs, and soon after I’m sure many Natchezians will be plopping down.

I won’t be skating, but I might be watching you fall. Rest assured, we’ll be sharing our best blooper reels in the newspaper.

A children’s petting zoo will be set up Saturday at Memorial Park. The Burn will open to candlelight tours. And the folks at Natchez Little Theatre will be putting on their annual Christmas show.

So as we creep closer and closer to the most loved holiday of all, be sure you get involved in the fun. We’ll work hard here to keep you informed of what’s coming, but if you want a comprehensive list, visit http://christmasinnatchez.com/index.php/events.

In between our visits with Santa, the newspaper staff is preparing quite a few special gifts for you to enjoy. Here’s a look at what we’ll soon be bringing to you.

- This Saturday our newspaper will be a gift to you. We’ve worked hard to make the newspaper thicker than normal and jam packed with news, features and special deals from local businesses.

Our delivery crews will distribute a copy of Saturday’s newspaper to nearly everyone in Natchez and Vidalia for free. Inside you’ll find a sample of all your favorite things about The Democrat.

- On Sunday, Dec. 18 our regular subscribers and those who purchase from a newspaper rack will receive a little Holiday Magic.

Our annual holiday guide will include precious letters to Santa, children’s artwork, Christmas carols and a few recipes for you to whip up in your spare time.

- Then, not long after Christmas in February, our annual Profile edition will arrive.

We are still working furiously to tell the stories of each generation that makes up our community, but we can’t wait to share them all with you.

- And last, but not least, we are currently taking nominations for Unsung Heroes in our community.

If you know someone who is always working to help others, but is never in the spotlight for their efforts, please let us know.

Write up a few paragraphs to tell us about the person and e-mail it to unsung@natchezdemocrat.com or mail it to P.O. Box 1447, Natchez, MS. Include your phone number in case I have questions, please.

In the meantime, get out there and find your Christmas cheer.


Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.