HHM Dec21 leader

What's Inside December

I love the spirit of giving associated with this time of year. The holiday season finds us remembering family and friends; and it's a perfect time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas - giving. In today's uncertain climate, it's even more important than usual to keep the spirit of giving in perspective. Our community needs your support with everything from shopping at its stores to eating at its restaurants to giving to its charities.

KCFM is a small business founded on local advertising, and our influence in the community reaches far beyond our front doors. With a full-time staff of four employees, our payroll extends further than that. We also support our freelancers including writers and distributors, our printer, PG&E, our landlord, ground maintenance, and much more.

I recently spoke with Debbie Moreno, CEO of Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, and she said that small businesses drive the economy nationally and in Bakersfield as well. For example, of their 1500 member businesses, 41% have five or fewer employees, and 72% have 20 or fewer employees.

She says, "When the economy is struggling as it is this year leading up to the holidays, it's more important than ever for all of us to 'think local' when we shop for the holidays. When our local businesses suffer, our economy, and thus the quality of life for our whole community, will suffer. "

This year, as you scramble to find the perfect gift for those on your lists, take the time to check out what your local retailers have to offer, because you might be surprised. You can purchase a gorgeous holiday centerpiece from Garden District Flowers, give a gift membership to American Kids Sports Center or My Gym, buy a new pair of Uggs at Terri's Stride Rite Shoes, or even surprise someone with a brand new car from Motor City Auto Center.

In addition to local businesses, Bakersfield also hosts many unique and worthwhile Christmas events that need your support including CALM's HolidayLights, Kern County Museum's Clock Tower Holidays, BARC's Magical Forest, the Nutcracker, and the American Cancer Society's Christmas Around the World. For a complete listing of what is available, turn to the "Happenings" section.

With an unprecedented number of families needing assistance, it's important to give what you can this year. In "Nanny's Story Time", Joan H. Haskins shares an opportunity to make shoe boxes for children who are ill, disabled, or who might not receive any gifts for Christmas. One such organization can be found at www.samaritanspurse.org. Also, don't forget, if you want her to write a story about your family, send your idea to kerncountyfamily@earthlink.net with the subject line, "Idea for Nanny."

Tracie Grimes shares with you some great ideas in our "You Can Do It" section. With step-by-step directions, you can make Joy of the Seasons Soaps and Ornamented Towels. For more holiday crafts, exclusive to our website, you will find instructions for Homemade Snow Globes in a Jar and Happy New Year's Poppers.

Also on our website, you can enter your fun, witty, embarrassing story for our Kid Wit section. This month's entry could win the cookbook, "Mom's Big Book of Baking: 200 Simple, Foolproof, and Family Favorites." Also, remember to enter some candid shots for our Quick Pix photos!

In our "Mothers, Shakers, and Community Makers" section, I had the chance to talk with a beautiful girl, Tatum Holland, who has taken the meaning of a cancer survivor to a whole new level. She has a positive and vivacious spirit that inspires many. Check out her amazing story.

My son, Cade, turned five this year and you can read all about his Red Hot Fire Station Celebration, where he spent his special day with firefighters at Bakersfield City's Fire Station One.

Living in Bakersfield brings with it many opportunities for us to shop, visit, socialize, and help the less fortunate. Our community has a lot to offer, and it's up to us to take part and help support a city that supports us. Have a wonderful Holiday Season! Enjoy every minute of this magical time of year, and we will see you in 2009!

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OFFICE LOCATION: 1400 Easton Drive #112, Bakersfield, CA 93309
PHONE: 661-861-4939 For Advertising and Subscription Inquiries
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