For a lot of local people, Christmas and New Years were just two more working days.

You probably didn’t think of those people. But they were there, making sure you could enjoy those days, and making sure help was available to you if you needed it.

When you got up on those two mornings, the gas, electricity and water were on. That’s because someone was on duty that day, making sure those services were available.

If those utilities went off during the day or night, someone gave up his or her holiday and did their best to reconnect them.

If you needed a policeman or deputy, one was available. When you called the jail or 911 dispatcher, someone answered.

When you used the telephone, the call went through because someone was working that day. If you needed an operator, one answered.

Somewhere, medical personnel were available to help you. If you needed an ambulance, a driver and attendant were available. If you or a loved one needed to be flown to Tupelo or Memphis for emergency medical attention, a ”dust-off” pilot was available.

At area nursing homes, people worked those days taking care of patients, cooking for them, perhaps bathing them or changing their bed linen, whatever needed doing.

Most of our elected officials are also good about helping whoever needs it whenever they need it, whether it’s offering a helping hand to someone who’s down and out, or making sure that when the snow flies, the sand and gravel fall onto public roads.

The next time you see one of those people, here are several ways to show your appreciation.

--Shake their hand. Look them in the eye and express your heartfelt thanks.

--Buy them a cup of coffee.

--If you happen to see any of these folks in a restaurant, have a quiet word with your waiter, and offer to pay for their coffee or meal. Do it anonymously, if you wish.

By doing any of these things, you’ll have made the world a little better place by helping someone who helped someone else – or perhaps you – when that help was really needed.

All those people deserve our appreciation. They worked while we didn’t, bending their holidays with family and friends around serving the public.

Their effort and sacrifice insured our comfort and safety.

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