For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is January 27, 2022


Joy of the holidays and the ordinary

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

Christmas time is here again in Mississippi.

I love Christmas because it’s about family, giving, the birth of Jesus Christ, community, and joy.

Joy is the special feeling in our souls brought about by God’s presence on Earth and through the words and works of Jesus Christ.

Christmas joy is evident all around the holidays — from the expectant eyes of a child on the morning of Dec. 25 wondering what Santa Claus might have left them to the smile on grandma’s face after she smells that first scent of her favorite peppermint hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.

The spirit of the season might appear harder to spot on a daily basis outside of December.

I have a suggestion for witnessing joy on an ordinary day throughout the rest of the year: read our cover story this month on The Mustard Seed in Flowood.

Better yet, I would urge you to visit or volunteer sometime to see it up close and in person. Not everyone can drive to the Jackson area to volunteer. But you can bring joy to others and to yourself by volunteering in your local community. Volunteering in your community is intrinsic to the cooperative way of life.

The Mustard Seed is a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities.

Known as “Seedsters,” the adults who live at The Mustard Seed’s group homes and the participants in the day program are living their best lives — literally and figuratively.

Don’t feel sorry for these folks — they are living productive, independent, and fulfilling lives away from their families of origin while working, playing, and learning. The Seedsters will tell you that as well as their families.

But you can also see it in their faces, smiles and interactions together and with visitors. There’s an infectious spark of joy in what they do and how they live.

Whether you and your family are struggling or thriving this holiday season, we hope this story warms your heart. It certainly warmed mine.

As 2021 ends and the promise of a new year is just ahead, remember to always look for the joy in others, yourself, and God.

From myself and all the electric cooperatives in Mississippi, we wish you and your family and friends a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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