Holiday greetings from the staff of The Watchman and The Democrat.

The holiday season forces early deadlines and lots of coordination in the newspaper business. This issue had to be ready almost a week in advance in order to make sure you have it on Christmas Day.

Editor Darlene Denstorff and writers Leila Pitchford and Cathy Hughes and news aides Kristie Bihm and Marchand Jones join me in wishing a merry Christmas and happy new year to all of our readers.

It's a joy to bring community news to you each week. We tell the stories of everyday life in the Felicianas. To do this, we also depend on a few part-time folks, like contributing writers Frances Spencer and Joel Robinson and photographers Jill Moore and David Thomas.

This is the time of year we reminisce about our favorite childhood Christmas memories.

Denstorff's memory includes a stuffed tiger she received when she was 5 or 6 years old.

"My dad worked at LSU, and he took me to see Mike often. So, receiving a stuffed Mike was exciting. More than 50 years later, I still have that faded and now unstuffed tiger. He's missing an eye and has some bald spots, but he sits on my dresser in a place of honor," Denstorff said.

I also has a stuffed tiger memory. I don't remember when I got my stuffed tiger. It was always there. What I do remember is the photo shoot involving the tiger and a sweatshirt.

The first Peach Bowl was in 1968, when I was 3. LSU and Florida State faced each other in that game. My parents went to LSU. My dad's uncle worked in the athletics department at Florida State and had sent me a Florida State sweatshirt.

My father was a newspaperman and volunteered me for the art for a preview story: Three-year-old me, wearing a Florida State shirt, holding my tiger with a purple LSU blanket wrapped around me.

It was an iconic photo in my household.

LSU won that Peach Bowl 31-27.

Take a moment in between unwrapping gifts and dashing from house to house to remember a touching moment from Christmas past.

Church sets Christmas and New Year's Eve services

Magnolia Full Gospel Baptist Church, 7910 U.S. 61 North, St. Francisville, will hold its New Year’s Eve Worship Service at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The Rev. Milton Coats is pastor.

Run in the new year

The annual 10-mile Wilderness Run is Jan 4 at Audubon State Historic Site on La. 965. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the West Feliciana High Boys Cross Country Program. Register at Register by Thursday, Dec. 19, to reserve a T-shirt. For questions, contact Coach Nick Smith at

Property taxes due

West Feliciana Parish property tax bills were mailed in November. Payment is due Tuesday. Visit for information.

Send news and events for East and West Feliciana parishes to by 10 a.m. Monday or call (225) 388-0731.