By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Perfect Christmas gifts for Ceres
Placeholder Image
Much of the stress of Christmas is the mad dash in picking that perfect gift for the one you love. The last thing we want to do on Christmas eve or Christmas Day is see our selection disappoint loved ones. The task can be harder when you're selecting for someone who "already has everything." Most of the gifts we give do happen to light up a face or two.

But after pondering the lyrics in Amy Grant's "Grown Up Christmas List," I wondered about Ceres and what might make for that perfect Christmas wish. So I came up with my own ideas for anyone wanting to get Ceres a Christmas gift.

For stocking stuffers, how about something small like an Applebee's or a Chili's? Like any community, Ceres likes to eat and wouldn't it be nice to not have to load up the kids and shuttle down 99 for some national chain eateries? Why even a Hungry Hunter would do. Yep, a Red Lobster would be fine, too. It might even puff up the esteem of a city that's feeling a bit left out while everything under the sun finds its way to Turlock. True, the city tried to get all of the above to locate in town but those attempts failed on account of where they were recruiting - a place on Mitchell Road far from the freeway. Now that Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center is coming before the Planning Commission, take notice, all you national chains!

I've got it - how about a movie theater? That would be a fantastic gift. The city reports that there has been some interest expressed by at least two operators who feel Ceres is an ideal place for a theater. Come to think of it, downtown might be a great place to add a theater and a popular eating establishment - both within view of the freeway. And it might take out a very haggard and outdated business block. This is a gift that is sure to make a lot of people happy.

If the movie theater is out of your budget, how about buying Ceres a FunWorks? I mean, not all young people are into slapping knees and elbows into cement at the Ceres Skatepark. Yeah, go-carts, an arcade, batting cages and laser tag would be an ideal gift for Ceres.

Got more than that to spend? I'm sure a new manufacturing plant would be perfect for Ceres. After all, jobs are in short supply in the Ceres area and the poverty rate of the area has been increasing. Before deciding on what to manufacture, just remember your plant should be a dry industry because sewer and water are an issue.

If there's a million or two burning a hole in your pocket, consider gifting it to the city for the $2 million they're expected to lose in the next budget cycle. Go ahead, the rest of us won't mind that you stipulate it being spent all for police. What community couldn't use more officers to take out the bad guys? With the number of drive-bys, gang shootings and auto thefts, such a gift would be most welcome.

I realize those gift suggestions might be just a bit out of line with the average holiday shopping budget. That's why I've developed a small list of "do-able" gift ideas for those on a lower budget. Consider any of these:

• Being kind to one another. Especially to that person living next to you. That means keeping stereo levels at a pleasant level. Smile and say hi. And take a little evaluation of how your property looks from the curb. If it needs some TLC, why not do it so your neighbor doesn't have to fret over neighborhood blight.

• Take an interest in one another. Not just during Christmas but all year. When you get to know a person you get to know their needs. And it can be an awesome feeling to help someone in their need.

• Volunteer to help out a group; the rewards can be better than money. If you need ideas, try the Volunteer Center, (209) 524-1307. With this economy, need for charities and charity work is great.

• Get involved in a good church. Ponder spiritual truths that can reform the heart and mind and make you a better person. Quit worshiping yourself or your possessions and worship someone worth worshiping.

The latter gifts cost little but make the most impact. Too bad the world would prefer a mad dash to the mall.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays!