The spirit of Christmas shines through

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The Salmon family learns that it’s better to give than to receive

By Roger Snodgrass

Mike Salmon said he got the idea for a “Christmas Jar,” listening to a Christian radio show.

“The idea was that a family puts their loose change in a jar all year long and then at the end of the year they decide who to give the money to,” Salmon said.

The family lives in Los Alamos, where Mike Salmon works at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

He and his sons, Matthew and Ryan are trying out their own version of the idea.

Salmon said his brother’s family, who has two sets of twins, had wanted to visit Los Alamos to go skiing.

This year when he called to invite them to come from Las Vegas, Nev., the family was going through a patch of extreme

difficulties, including divorce, sickness and a lost job.

The two sets of twins wanted to come but the family could not afford the visit.

“We can do that,” Mike Salmon thought. “We can raise the money to make that possible.”

He talked it over with the boys and they were interested. They came up with the idea of making Christmas ornaments and baking cookies to sell.

“It’s about the Christmas spirit,” Mike said. “It’s about giving, not just about getting.”

The goal is to try and raise at least part of the $1,000 that the trip and ski passes will cost.

The ski hill offered a big discount on the passes and Mike and the boys have had a table at Los Alamos National Bank for two days, where they’ve raised a little more. They planned to set their table up at the ski hill today.

“It’s been fun for me,” Ryan said, sitting at a table in the bank lobby.

Mike says he will meet the nephews halfway and bring them in.

“We’re gong to do this every year,” he said. “Not just for family, but for other kids who have run into a spot of bad luck.”