"Murf the Surf" Jack Murphy and Julie Simpson

Middle-aged and retired women walk single-file down the narrow sidewalk between barbed wire fences on a cold December morning. Headed to prison.

But only for a visit.

The Winning Edge’s biggest annual volunteer-based prison ministry event kicked off Friday, Dec. 1, at several prisons, including the Gist State Jail and the LeBlanc State Jail in Beaumont and the Lucile Plane State Jail in Dayton, about an hour outside of Beaumont. Only male volunteers entered men’s prisons while the women headed to the Plane Unit. 

Downtown Beaumont holiday tree lighting

Join the Downtown Museum District on the grounds of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) and Texas Energy Museum at 500 Main Street for the Holiday Tree Lighting Party on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 4-7 p.m. with Santa Claus lighting the tree promptly at 6 p.m. At this holiday event, families will participate in ornament making for their tree at home and the downtown tree, take pictures with Santa Claus, make and send letters to the North Pole, enjoy holiday music, and much more.  Free cookies and hot cider will be available.  

Santa at Calder Woods

Calder Woods is working to make sure the magic of the season extends to all ages, as the senior living community invites its Beaumont friends and neighbors to get into the holiday spirit by stopping in for an afternoon with Santa. Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7080 Calder Ave. Seniors age 60 and up are invited to come take a free photo by themselves or with their families with Beaumont’s very own Santa Claus, as well as enjoy festive treats and refreshments. This event is indoors, welcoming guests to come and go from 3-5 p.m.

Be a Santa to a Senior

While many seniors enjoy being able to live independently, the holidays can be a difficult time for those who are unable to spend them with friends or loved ones and isolated seniors are at great risk for loneliness, anxiety and depression.

This is why the local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin counties is inviting the community to come together to bring some comfort and holiday cheer to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program.