Originally published Tuesday, December 25, 2018 at 06:05a.m.

Santa Claus has come and gone for another year. You have cleaned up the wrappings and bows, and plans are well under way today for TV, naps, family time, feasts, trips to see the courthouse plaza lights or Christmas lights contest winners (for the map see dCourier.com/lights), and more shopping deals at the stores tomorrow.

Others in our community woke up to another day today. Their concerns are food, warmth and shelter.

Two different pictures, the haves and have nots.

Over the past several weeks we have reported in these pages about groups helping out the “have nots.”

One comes to fruition today, the free Don’t Spend Christmas Alone community dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 2000 Shepherds Lane, in Prescott. For information, call 928-778-4499.

Another great example of giving was the Burning Desire to Feed the Hungry food drive, Dec. 14-15, at area Safeway stores. Prescott News Network’s Courier Cares program and Yavapai Broadcasting brought residents together to help the needy — beyond the holidays when donations typically drop off.

Residents turned out to donate food and cash to area food banks and community cupboards — some having a banner year, others falling short of their goals. The haul? Try 7,742 pounds of food and $7,886 in donations!

And, next week we turn the calendar to 2019 with thoughts filling our minds concerning Junior’s birthday, our parents’ wedding anniversary, and Valentine’s Day.

Bear in mind, folks, please never forget those who are less fortunate — those who lost their job or are struggling to pay the mortgage, for example. Mixed in there will be heat, food, fuel prices and taxes.

If you cannot help them with a nice tip or gift — the Yavapai Food Bank, which assists myriad local food banks and community cupboards (8866 E. Long Mesa Drive, Prescott Valley; call 928-775-5255) is always accepting donations — at least part ways with a smile and a “you’re welcome” or “thank you.” Warm greetings, good customer service, compliments and polite expressions are not a thing of the past.

Like alcoholism and drugs, life and the economy do not discriminate — and we must not either.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.