BY MARGO BURTON Special Assistant Christmas at the Mansion undeniably begins in the month of October. It begins as children write letters to their sponsors that includes their needs and wishes. Excitement is in the air as the decorations are placed on the grounds as well as each resident hall. Preparations are made as individual sponsors and churches call to schedule their visits and parties. The first weekend in December is always saved for the Tupelo parade. The children enjoy watching the floats and hearing the bands as they ring out their favorite Christmas carols. Churches kick off the week by bringing gifts and having pizza parties. Donations are made that will help towards goodies and Christmas dinners. The second weekend is always saved as the Biker’s Toy Run. This year we celebrated the 22nd annual Biker’s Toy Run with 150 motorcycles along with 5 other children’s homes. Each child is given a large sack of presents from an individual who has sacrificed to make each child’s Christmas special. The week before Christmas is always hectic, yet exhilarating! The Sponsor Relations Department does an excellent job in insuring that each child at the Mansion has a wonderful Christmas. Each present is wrapped and put in a special box for each child for that special morning. As I again had the privilege of wrapping gifts this year, I was reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. The remembrance that God gave His only son as our gift so that we would have everlasting life; that we would receive His love and in turn give to others so that they would have a better life. The true meaning of Christmas is found at Tupelo Children’s Mansion not only at Christmas but every day of the year as people like you give to this worthy ministry.