Whatever the holiday tradition is in your home — drawing names; playing the white elephant game; hiding the elf; buying a gift for every member of your family, only the little ones or no one at all — it’s not about gift-giving but spending time together as a family. It’s about counting blessings.

True, ’tis the season to be merry, but there are friends or family we know who are experiencing heartache this season. They could be grieving the loss of a relative or, worse, burying a relative over the holidays. The fact is, someone we know is having a difficult time this Christmas.

It doesn’t matter if we celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, it matters that we’re thankful for all we have. It matters that family and friends are together and that you have your health and happiness. Some people will be spending the holiday in the hospital.

In the chaos of unwrapping presents this holiday season, let’s remember to reach out to someone who is having a difficult time by offering a hug or a phone call to say a simple “I care.” Sometimes, just knowing there is someone thinking of you and knowing someone is aware of the heavy burden you carry can make all the difference in the world. After all, it is the season of giving.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

In the meantime, around Zachary …

Quilters Corner

The Pride-Chaneyville Library, 13600 Pride-Port Hudson Road, hosts Quilters Corner, an ongoing quilting group that meets monthly to create quilts. Build your skills with techniques for piecing, machine quilting, applique and finishing. The next Quilters’ Corner meets 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the meeting room.

Call the Pride-Chaneyville Library for information at (225) 658-1540.

Every branch of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Christmas Art Camp

Joie Petite Designs Gallery & Studio, 4257 Church St., Suite 104, Zachary, is offering a Christmas Art Camp for children. The second week of the art camp includes painting a snowman on Monday and a red bird Tuesday.

To register your little artist, visit joiepetitedesigns.com/wp/basic-foundation-to-drawing/ or call Joie Petite Designs at (225)281-7197.

Soiree Readers book club

A new weekly book club, Soiree Readers, is starting in Zachary and will meet at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Chocolate Cafe. The first meeting on Jan. 1 will be a “meet and greet” to discuss club rules, details and which book to read first.

Soiree Readers is open to men and women ages 18 or older. Books of all genres will be read and discussed. If interested, show up at the Chocolate Cafe at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 1 or contact Janice Davis at (225) 238-6055.

Lunch & Learn

The Zachary Chamber is up to something new. Current, former and nonmembers are invited to the first Lunch & Learn on Jan. 7 at Americana YMCA, 4200 Liberty Way, to start the new year off with a bang.

“You won’t want to miss the first Lunch & Learn of 2015,” says Heather Prejean, chamber director. “That’s right, it’s 2015, and we’re going to try something new, so come see what we’re up to.”

Networking and registration is from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The program is from noon to 1 p.m. and includes a catered lunch. The fee to attend is $15 for chamber members and $20 for nonmembers.

Visit zacharychamber.com to register or call (225) 654-6777 for information.

Business leader to speak

Will Campbell Jr., director of Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southern University, will be the featured speaker 6 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Leadership North Alumni Association meeting held at the Zachary Library, 1900 Church St., in the meeting room. Leadership North Alumni Association members are invited to attend, as well as anyone wishing to hear from an expert on creating entrepreneurship in the region.

Campbell is responsible for overseeing and managing the Louisiana SBDC at Southern and providing business consulting for seven parishes. Campbell and his team were awarded the 2013 Louisiana State Star Award and the 2014 SBDC Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award.

This event is free. All are invited to attend and should RSVP to Carla Sibille, LNAA president, at carla.sibille@gmail.com or by calling (225) 235-9476.

Support group for new moms

Lane Regional Medical Center hosts a monthly support group for new mothers suffering from postpartum depression. The group will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Jan. 8 at Lane RMC, 6300 Main St., Zachary.

This free support group is led by licensed professional counselor Dana LeTard Vicellio and provides encouragement, education and support for mothers-to-be and new moms having emotional difficulty related to childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include: feeling sad, depressed, irritable or angry with those around you; difficulty bonding with your baby; being anxious or panicky; having problems eating or sleeping; persistent upsetting thoughts; feeling out of control; feeling like you should not have become a mother; or being worried you might hurt your baby or yourself.

For information, call (225) 658-4587.

Send your “Around Zachary” events to Stacy Gill by 3 p.m. Friday for publication in the next edition of the Zachary Advocate & Plainsman. Email your news, photos and more to sgill@theadvocate.com.