Mayors help distribute Christmas dinners to needy 05

Santa Claus gives stuffed animals to children at the Tabitha's Way North County Food Pantry in American Fork on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

THUMBS UP: To our good friend Kris Kringle for making another run at helping children around the world have a better Christmas holiday in this wonky year of 2020. But, in the Christian tradition we also give recognition to the Christ child whose birth the Christian world celebrated Friday. It is truly a time of happiness and wonderment and the desires for peace on Earth and good will toward all.

THUMBS DOWN: To all the porch thieves who took away the gifts, the money spent, the joy of unwrapping and sharing with family and friends. Truly there are a few Grinch-like characters who need to have a heart enlargement surgery. Two thumbs down.

THUMBS UP: To all of our first responders, medical personnel, teachers, service industry workers and those who must work daily to keep our health, education and welfare going. Thank you for seeing us through 2020 and into 2021. May you have some moment of quiet peace and joy this time of year and know there are millions around the world who praise your name and thank you for your service.

THUMBS UP: To Santa Claus and his crew. One day a year that man travels the globe to bring everyone presents in what seems like an impossible act. His reindeer push through terrible weather and his elves work around the clock through the year to make it possible. In a year where there has been a lot of negatives, Santa brings this joy into people’s households to celebrate on Christmas.

THUMBS UP: To Sub for Santa and its amazing efforts this holiday season. Many families have been dealing with struggles and the pandemic escalated some of those. Sub for Santa and the amazing people who sponsor families make the holiday special for these children and their families. Many go above and beyond, not only giving gifts but sometimes more, including fixing people’s cars. It is amazing to see such giving within the community during the tough time.

THUMBS UP: To the amazing 2020 season the BYU football team put together out of the ashes of their original dreams. The Cougars capped an 11-1 campaign with a big bowl win and gave all their supporters something to celebrate during tough times.

THUMBS UP: To BYU head coach Kalani Sitake’s consistent emphasis on the love of the game. It’s great to see a man avoid the politicking and focus on savoring every minute on the gridiron.

THUMBS UP: To all the thumbs pointed directionally upward in this week’s edition. There’s no denying that 2020 has been right up there among the very worst years that most of us have ever experienced. Yet here we are, smack dab between Christmas Day and New Year’s, and most everyone is focused on the merry and bright, the holly and jolly, with spontaneous puckering from the mistletoe to the ladyfingers. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good week!

THUMBS UP: To the Christmas star. You may or may not have been able to see it clearly depending on your location, but some of the photos we’ve seen are truly inspiring. What are the odds that this heavenly apparition would appear this week and this year?

THUMBS UP: To the College Football Playoff Committee. We’re hopeful that the sheer amount of coal members received in their stockings at Christmas expresses how much we appreciate the fair and balanced work they accomplished this year.

THUMBS UP: To Christmas movies. From the awesome to the sappy, ‘tis the season for warm feels with an endless array of holiday-themed movies. My spouse and I have had tried to schedule time for one seasonal movie a night with our kids. It’s broughta lot of laughter, joy and contemplation.

THUMBS UP: To Tabitha’s Way Food Pantries in American Fork and Spanish Fork and other organizations that are helping families have a happy holiday season during the COVID-19 pandemic. And another thumbs up to the mayors, councilmembers and other elected officials throughout Utah County who helped distribute holiday meals this week. Because of Tabitha’s Way, more than 8 million meals were provided to families in 2020. That’s a great accomplishment.

THUMBS DOWN: To Congress for taking months to come up with a COVID-19 relief package only to pass a bill at the 11th-hour, likely before any lawmakers had time to read the more than 5,000-page bill. Rather than working across the aisle to craft meaningful, nuanced legislation to help struggling families, businesses and schools, our lawmakers spent months doing nothing and returned with a catch-all proposal that they were all but forced to vote on. We deserve much more from our elected officials.