The weather was cold, but the holiday spirit and the hot chocolate were warm as the 14th annual Enid Lights Up the Plains celebration was held downtown Friday night.

A good crowd was on hand enjoying the music, sampling the food, taking part in the carriage rides and oohing and aahing at the fireworks spectacular and the snowfall that began as the entertainment keyed up.

Thumbs up to Main Street Enid, which coordinates the event, and U.S. Cellular, the corporate sponsor, as well as Western Enterprises, which presented the fireworks.

The cost of a typical Thanksgiving meal rose this year to about $42.26 for a feast that would feed 10. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is beyond the means of many.

Making sure everyone had a chance to enjoy some Thanksgiving turkey were several Enid churches and charity groups.

First Baptist Church, Salvation Army and Knights of Columbus offered free Thanksgiving meals.

Thumbs up to all the hard-working and good-hearted people involved with making Thanksgiving special for local residents who otherwise might have had to do without a holiday feast.

Speaking of the holiday feast, there were too many stories this year about why sitting down to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is so bad for our health.

Various experts informed us Thanksgiving meals contain too many carbohydrates, too many calories, too much fat and too much salt. Enough, already.

If we ate that way every day, of course, we would be endangering our health. But the vast majority of us don’t.

We would advise these Thanksgiving Grinches to keep their fear-mongering to themselves. A greasy thumb down.

Enid teachers are doing some innovative things in their classrooms as they try to enhance their students’ educational experiences.

Many of those innovative teachers were rewarded last week when Enid Public School Foundation gave out grants totaling $14,876.71 for a variety of educational programs.

EPSF was able to fund 40 percent of requests received from teachers around Enid.

Thumbs up to the teachers for coming up with these innovative ideas and the EPSF for helping fund them.

This time of year is a time for giving. We all love to purchase gifts for friends and family members.

But this also is a time for giving to people you never will meet. There are a number of local charity drives going on this season, attempting to make the holidays brighter for those in need.

This year a number of charity organizations are coordinating their efforts, including Hope Outreach’s Day Center for the Homeless; Salvation Army; Toys for Tots; Catholic Charities, including St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and St. Gregory’s Catholic Church; United Place Church, at 2107 E. Broadway, and YWCA.

And there are others. Thumbs up to these and all charities that help the needy during the holiday season and to all who contribute cash or merchandise to them.

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