By JENNA BAILEY
Meet the DeFuniak Herald – Beach Breeze’s 2018 Christmas Family — the Thomas family! Lifelong residents of DeFuniak Springs and Walton County, Nathan, Libbi and their four children express their love for DeFuniak Springs through numerous actions to serve their community.
The four Thomas children are Alayna (15), Anna (12), Vann (7) and Valerie (5). The children attend Walton High School, Walton Middle School, and West DeFuniak Elementary. Honor students, the children are actively involved in sports such as volleyball, tennis and swimming. The family loves playing tennis; going to the beach; baking cookies year ‘round (not just for Christmas!); long bike rides; and most of all spending time together in the DeFuniak Springs community.
Devout Christians, Nathan and Libbi are lifelong members of the First Baptist Church of
DeFuniak Springs. The couple are members of the “Young Married Sunday School Class” as well as members of the First Christian Preschool Board — Libbi as a member and Nathan as the Financial Advisor.
Nathan assists the praise band by playing the guitar during Sunday worship services and Libbi works with the children’s choir. Nathan is also a member of the Stewardship Committee and the Personnel Committee while Libbi assists the Bereavement Committee to prepare meals for grieving families.
Their children are actively involved in the Sunday school; children’s choir and performances; Youth; Royal Ambassadors and Mission Friends activities; and encourage other children by displaying a positive attitude.
Alumni of the University of West Florida, Nathan received a degree in Finance and Libbi a degree in Accounting. Nathan is employed as the Finance Director for Rhonda Skipper and is a devoted employee of the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office and received the Sterling Award of Excellence.
Libbi chose to serve the schools and community through extensive volunteering in the Walton County School District as Secretary of the West DeFuniak Elementary Parent Teacher Organization; as well as for other school activities such as book fairs.
In response to what Christmas means to them, Libbi replied, “Christmas means so much to me. I love decorating and soaking up all the lights, sounds, and smells that Christmas brings. I love singing and listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies together as a family. I love baking and cooking with my mom and kids; going to Christmas performances at our kids’ schools and at our church. I love giving gifts and of course receiving them as well! I love sending out Christmas cards to our family and friends and visiting with extended family in the days before and after Christmas.
“Mostly, I love the season of Christmas because it is the celebration and remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and Redeemer. The reason we give gifts at Christmas is because Jesus was given to us, and was the perfect gift. We are nothing without Jesus and His birth, death, and resurrection and daily grace and mercy. That’s not just a ‘church answer,’ either, it is exactly how I feel and I am forever grateful for my salvation through Jesus Christ, as well as all my earthly blessings. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and my prayer is for anyone who sees me and my family, that they will see Jesus living in us.”