Although Thanksgiving is late this year, it still managed to sneak up on us. But there it was yesterday, along with family and friends and, yes, talk of Christmas.

Because of the calendar this year, there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That can be a good thing. But for those whose concern is trying to comfort the less fortunate at Christmas, it compresses the time in which they can raise funds for the effort.

That includes the Salvation Army, whose Manchester-area unit has already begun work that will only expand as the days to Dec. 25 fly by.

The Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army has also geared up.

The annual kickoff luncheon was held earlier this week and served to remind us of the Army’s important role here.

A speaker asked the audience to imagine what it would have been like in the city had the Santa Fund not been in existence to help those in need over the last 60 years.

We did. And one word came to mind. “Pottersville.”

That of course was the name of the town in Frank Capra’s classic film ”It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Or rather it’s what the town of Bedford Falls would have been called had people like Jimmy Stewart’s “George Bailey” character not have been around to help lift up the less fortunate.

We don’t really think Manchester would ever have been a Pottersville. Had there not been the Santa Fund, we have no doubt that the good people of this old mill city would have come up with something with a similar purpose to address the same needs.

The needs remain and we are happy that the Santa Fund is here to assist the Salvation Army in meeting them. Donations can be made either online at www.UnionLeader.com/santafund, by mail to the fund at 100 William Loeb Drive, Manchester, N.H., 03109, or drop your donation in the big red box at our office Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.

Remember to include your name and a brief message if you would like to see that information printed in the daily lists that will run in the newspaper.