Georgia Magazine - December 2011 - (Page 5) (800) 544-4362, in Georgia; (770) 270-6500 GEORGIA Magazine, the largest-circulation monthly magazine in the state, is published by Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (GEMC), the trade association for Georgia’s 42 consumer-owned electric utilities. On average, more than 500,000 members welcome the magazine into their homes each month. Georgia’s notfor-profit electric cooperatives provide reliable, safe and affordable electric service to more than 73 percent of the state’s land area serving 4.5 million residents. For more information, visit EDITOR Ann Orowski, CCC ManagIng EDITOR Jennifer Hewett, CCC assOcIaTE EDITOR Victoria Scharf DeCastro PRODucTIOn cOORDInaTOR Steve Jacobs assIsTanT EDITOR Kevin Braun assIsTanT EDITOR Jim Jess EDITORIal InTERn Nikki Stephens cOnTRIbuTIng WRITERs Madeline Staples Austin, Lynn Coulter, Jane F. Garvey, Deborah Geering, Bret Love cOnTRIbuTIng PhOTOgRaPhERs Rinne Allen, Matt Cochran, Lynn Coulter, Guy D’Alema, Herman Estevez, Krystyna FitzGerald-Morris, Jane F. Garvey, Kelly Hester, Nancy Marshall, Patrick McComas, Charlie Miller, Walker Montgomery, Patrick Murphy Racey aDvERTIsIng REPREsEnTaTIvEs The best Christmas present I By Paul Wood President/CEO, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Laurel George, (404) 541-0628; Laine Kirby Wood, (770) 289-5700 Country Market, (800) 626-1181 National naTIOnal aDvERTIsIng REPREsEnTaTIvE DEsIgnERs Trudie Thibodeaux, Kerstin Weis Mary Wellman, (770) 270-6981 subscRIPTIOns 2011 aDvIsORy bOaRD Amanda Busby, Erin Cook, Lynn Coulter, Romanous Dotson, Jeff Ferguson, Chuck Grace, Robert Herman, Jamie Hulsey, Jennie Lacey, Ophelia McCain, Ted McMillan, Lynn Price, Neal Shepard, Heather Teilhet, Jere Thorne, Tony Tucker gEORgIa EMc OffIcERs chaIRMan Neal Talton, Flint Energies vIcE chaIRMan Alice Mallory, Coweta-Fayette EMC sEc.-TREasuRER Randy Crenshaw, Irwin EMC PREsIDEnT/cEO, gEMc A. Paul Wood GEORGIA Magazine (USPS-473120, ISSN 10615822) is published monthly by Georgia Electric Membership Corp., P.O. Box 1707, 2100 East Exchange Place, Tucker, GA 30085. Periodicals postage paid at Thomaston, GA, and additional mailing offices. POsTMasTER: Send address changes to GEORGIA Magazine, P.O. Box 1707, Tucker, GA 30085. Printed in Georgia by Quad/Graphics. Acceptance of advertising by GEORGIA Magazine does not imply endorsement by the publisher or Georgia’s electric membership corporations of the product or services advertised. GEORGIA Magazine’s LIABILITY FOR ERRORS IN, OR OMISSIONS OF, ADVERTISEMENTS, WHETHER IN CONTRACT OR IN TORT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES TO THE ADVERTISER’S BUSINESS, SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF CHARGES FOR THE ADVERTISEMENT THAT WAS OMITTED OR IN WHICH THE ERROR OCCURRED. find it difficult to wish folks a merry Christmas when so many of us have had—and are still having—a very tough year. Around the country, unemployment persists at a level above 9 percent. The U.S. Congress cannot seem to find a consensus solution to any of the country’s major problems. And now there is even talk of a double-dip recession. As if that is not enough, many people are struggling to recover from damage sustained by natural disasters of a record-breaking scale—drought, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires. I had a teacher who once advised me, “If times are tough around Christmas, try to think of the best present you ever received.” Sounded like good advice at the time. As I sat down to write this column, I had every intention of writing about the best present I ever received at Christmas. But each time I thought of a special gift, I also recalled that the gift arrived the same year as a significant family event. It might have been the year my father came home from the hospital just in time to celebrate Christmas with us, or the year my favorite cousin decided to get married on Christmas Day, or the year my Aunt Babe gave birth on Christmas eve, and we all said, “There’s no better present than to have a child born the night before Christmas.” Those were the really good Christmases. It occurred to me that it was not the material gift that made a particular Christmas memorable, but the family event itself. Even when the More online at major event was a sad occasion, like the celebration of the life of a family member who recently died, those Christmases were good because they simply brought family together. Sometimes the best Christmas gift did not come on Christmas Day at all. For instance, I always enjoyed going out into the woods with family, finding the perfect tree and taking it home to decorate. Once, we found two trees, but each had only one good side. We cut them both down, and when we got home, we wired them together to form one truly remarkable and beautiful tree. We laughed about that “perfect” tree for years. Ultimately, the best memories of Christmas center on what we do together, not what is under the tree. I know a family that celebrates Christmas morning by visiting a homeless shelter to prepare and serve breakfast. That is their way of remembering why we celebrate this special time of the year. Serving others promotes selflessness among their children while teaching them that Christmas is not about how many expensive gifts you can collect under the tree. Later, the family shares a meal together, and they open one gift each. Just one. If we could turn the focus from material gifts received to intangible gifts given away, I’m confident all of us would have more “good Christmases” to remember. I hope you have a very merry Christmas! 5 December 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - December 2011

Georgia Magazine - December 2011
Georgia News
Picture This?
Calendar of Events
Magical Nights, Holiday Lights
Between the Covers
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - December 2011