The holidays are family time for many in our area. Bountiful family dinners, festive gathering and gala parties take up much of our time until the end of the year.

The Advocate family extends holiday greetings to our readers.

As you get together in the next few weeks, don’t forget to share a few photos with The Advocate.

It’s easy to send photos and information to us. Simply email photos — cellphone photos are fine — to ascension@theadvocate.com. Include the names of the people in the photo and a brief explanation of what’s going on in the photo.

Whether it’s a reunion of five generations or a visit from an out-of-state relative, please share your holiday memories.

Parish offices close

All Ascension Parish governmental offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of Christmas. Offices will reopen Monday for regular business hours.

Holiday garbage pickup

Gonzales residents can expecte the following garbage pickup dates for the holidays:

THURSDAY: normal schedule.

FRIDAY: no pickup.

SATURDAY: will pick up as replacement for Friday.

DEC. 31: normal schedule.

JAN. 1: no pickup.

JAN. 2: will pick up as replacement for Friday.

Holiday library closures

All branches of Ascension Parish Library are closed Thursday and Friday for Christmas, as well as Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

Teen open mic night

Teens are welcome to share their talent at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dutchtown Branch of Ascension Parish Library. Bring 10 minutes of material or two songs to perform in front of a crowd, or just stop in to listen. No registration is required, but time is limited. Call (225) 673-8699 .

Parish receives award

Ascension Parish recently received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the budget year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and is awarded through the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, a news release said.

“The Finance Department has worked hard to achieve this distinguished designation for the fourth consecutive year,” Parish President Tommy Martinez said.

Contact Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 336-6952 or (225) 603-1996; fax, (225) 644-5851; or email, ascension@the advocate.com or ddenstorff@theadvocate.com. Deadline: noon Monday.