Many businesses and residents of Sleepy Eye have gotten in the Christmas spirit by hosting events and donating gifts to local charities.

Employees at Bic/APP were in the spirit of giving recently when they donated over 600 pounds of food to the Sleepy Eye Area Food Shelf. Several employees of BIC/App came to the food shelf to unload the pick-up truck of donations and carry it down to the food shelf. Director Josephine Rose was on hand to direct where the boxes should go. Despite being closed for many months, the food shelf is fully stocked and open every Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. to serve customers from Sleepy Eye to Sanborn.

Students at St. Mary's brought in donations for both the elementary and high school Giving Trees. All items given for the elementary Giving Tree will be donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Society located in Rochester. They will be distributed to the needy in our own state of Minnesota.

Two local banks kicked off the holiday season by holding holiday open houses on Friday, Dec. 7.

Americana Bank had musical entertainment at noon as well as refreshments and drawings.

SouthPoint Federal Credit Union also held a holiday open house for customers with beverages and refreshments.