With Halloween around the corner and Remembrance Day coming soon, Christmas isn't far off.
And now is the time for those of us who can put a meal on the table to start thinking about how to help those families who are struggling financially to have a merry Christmas.
The folks at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society have been shopping for needy families for months - they are experts at finding bargains - and will start registering families on Nov. 18.
The hamper society gets financial help from different sources - the Strip-a-thon, the Empty Stocking Fund, and the local firefighters who will be collecting money around town for them on Dec. 15 - but many groups also step forward to give generously.
And the society can always do with more financial help, as the need seems to be growing every year.
Last year the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society helped 640 families - the most ever.
The society has a Good Neighbour program through which anyone can sponsor a family, buying gifts for children and a food voucher to buy a turkey and all the trimmings.
Often it is a business, a sports team, a school, or just a group of friends who decide to sponsor a family.
Sponsors can indicate how big a family they can support - small, medium, or large - and they can specify whether they want younger kids, teens, just girls, or just boys.
The hamper society recommends that groups spend $75 per child on gifts.
Out of the 640 families that were sponsored, the Good Neighbour Program took care of about 100.
For information on how to sponsor a hamper family, go to www.mrpmchristmashamper.org and click on the Good Neighbour Program icon.