On reaching out this holiday season, the Mayan calendar, stable service, AP, and Ricky...

The season to reach out
When we see a Christmas movie on TV or something, there is usually some kind of nice family gathering. It's a feel good scene. But for some, it is depressing. There are those who are alone during Christmas, whether it's an elderly person with not a lot of family or a single living in a strange city and unable to go home. They are all around us. We may know them. We should take the initiative to invite them to our own festivities, to make sure they don't feel deserted. If they turn down the offer, send them some cookies or a small present and call them. This is especially true for military personnel that may be overseas. They may be in a large company but they are still away from their families. It's this kind of compassion that we should remember to share during this season. There is always room for at least one more person, isn't there? Amanda Wagner

Will the Mayans be accurate?
Well, if this is truly it, this will be the last “5 Things” Times’ readers ever read on this page. If the Mayans were right, on Dec. 21, 2012 it all comes to an end. The end of the Mayan calendar means the end of the world, and as the fateful day has approached on the calendar the Mayan prediction has gotten a lot more publicity than many would have otherwise thought it would. Seriously, how many wisecracks have you heard during this Christmas shopping season about the lack of a need to buy any gifts because it’s all going to come to an end on Dec. 21? Don’t get too tied up knots over it; the sun will probably rise on Dec. 22 and for countless times after that. But just in case it doesn’t, well…it’s been a great ride. Open those gifts early!

Come to the stable service
After a few years' absence, the community stable service is back this year. This event is something Christian in the community should attend. If you've never been to one, you're in for a real treat. The nativity literally comes alive in front of your eyes, between the characters, the animals and singing. You become part of this magical evening or afternoon. What better way to experience the glory of Christmas? As a reminder, the service is Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21 and 22, at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively, at the University Teaching and Outreach Center just north of the UMC campus.

Why wait? Peterson’s the NFL’s best ever
Why is it that just because a player is still playing he is put on the back burner of the all time greatest discussions? Adrian Peterson is the greatest running back of all time. Adrian Peterson is the greatest running back of all time? Are you in the question mark boat or the period boat? Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, blah, blah and blah. AP has broken the single game rushing record, he's on the verge of breaking the single season rushing record and if he stays healthy he has a chance to challenge the career rushing record. If AP was retired and in the Hall of Fame already, experts and fans would talk about him as the greatest ever. But since he is still playing his legend hasn't inflated like that of past greats. When his career is finished he will be the greatest running back of all time, so let's just skip the waiting and call him the greatest ever while he's still lacing up the cleats.

Welcome back, Ricky
After suffering a knee injury last March, Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio returned to the court in Saturday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, a moment Minnesota fans had been waiting for with a great deal of anticipation. The new team, entering the season with high expectations, was set back when star players Rubio and forward Kevin Love were unable to start the season on time due to injuries. However, with a 12-9 record, the team has started their year off on a higher note than years past. With the addition of a true 6’4 point guard who averages 10 points and 8 assists per game and who has a way of creating a crisp, organized offense, things can only get better for Minnesota basketball. Projected to make their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, with Rubio back into play, T-wolves fans have a higher chance of being able to watch their team play following the regular season. Katie Davidson