By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A fun, friendly decorating contest at one office inside the Canadian County Courthouse will make Christmas brighter for families with children.
Canadian County Court Clerk personnel have decorated their desk stations in themes of popular Christmas songs like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”, “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Blue Christmas,” among other yuletide musical favorites.
The public is encouraged to visit the Court Clerk’s Office to “vote” on their favorite decorated area by giving to the El Reno-based Blessing Baskets. Monetary donations will be accepted through Christmas.
“Blessing Baskets feeds a lot of families, and there’s a huge need for that right now,” Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst said. “It was before and during the pandemic, but it’s even worse now with the economy.”
The Canadian County non-profit’s Christmas Baskets program has served families with children since 1999. This effort provides food, personal care items, blankets, and toys to more than 2,000 people – over 900 of them children – each year.
Blessing Baskets serves individuals and families in Canadian County living west of Banner Road who meet certain household income qualifications.
All 24 employees of the Canadian County Clerk’s Office – in two-person teams – are participating in this fun holiday decorating contest.
“We love doing this,” Hirst said. “You should have seen our Halloween decorations and costumes!
“We hope to raise a lot of money to help Blessing Baskets. When people come into our office, if they have a little bit of extra change, they can stick it in somebody’s donation box to vote for them. That’s all they have to do. Anybody’s welcome to come in and look around.”
To help with this year’s contest benefitting Blessing Baskets, visit the Court Clerk’s Office on the first floor of the Canadian County Courthouse at 301 N Choctaw.
This marks the second year that the district court clerk’s team has hosted the festive event. Last year’s theme was Christmas movies as more than $1,000 was collected for the annual Red Andrews Dinner.
“We’re going to do this every year so that we can help different nonprofits,” Hirst said. “In the past, before this issue with COVID, our employees were raising money all year long.
“We participated in the American Cancer Society’s ‘Relay for Life’ for several years, raising $4,000-$5,000 each year, and we raised money and donated about $500 to an officer whose house burned down.”
The Canadian County Court Clerk’s staff plans to have more bake sales to benefit local charitable causes.
“Our attorneys love home-cooked food – and so do our jurors,” Hirst noted.
Canadian County’s court clerk personnel welcome the public to check out their decorated office this Christmas holiday season – whether or not they need to pay a citation, look up a court document, obtain a marriage license, or file adoption papers.
“We want to make sure that when they come in our office, they see that we love our jobs and we love to work with people,” Hirst said. “That’s our job – to help them.
“We want everyone to come in and be happy. And we want them to leave here smiling.”