By Paula Mitchell
By now, folks in the neighborhood are getting things set up for Christmas. It has been rather cold and windy to set up the outside lighting that everyone so enjoys seeing. There are many traditions that prevail in this community. One is of the Christmas tree, which was an ancient custom brought to America by the Germans.
The descendants from Germany celebrated Christmas Eve as the most joyous night of the calendar year. The history of the Christmas tree is quite complicated. Although Protestant and Catholic traditions lay claim to the first Christmas tree, many tie it to pagan rituals.
It is thought that in 1419, a baker’s guild in Freiburg, Germany, decorated a tree with apples, wafers, tinsel and gingerbread. Martin Luther may have been the first to use decorations as a symbol to tie the tree to the baby Jesus. The evergreen, he said, represented the eternal love of God and His steadfastness of their own faith. The candles which he used to decorate the tree, represented the star that led the wise men to Christ.
The first reported Christmas tree to be displayed in the United States didn’t happen until the 1830s. Still, it didn’t really catch on until the English Royals set the precedence in England.
In 1848, Prince Albert brought the tradition to England when he placed a decorated tree in Buckingham Palace. The picture was altered to look quite American and published two years later in Godey’s Lady’s Book. This helped to popularize the tradition, which then served as a symbol of faith, family tradition, or simply a way to celebrate the season.
Christmas is certainly a festive time of the year. It is wonderful to enjoy the season that ends the calendar year. The writer hopes that the readers will open their hearts to those who are less fortunate.
Life’s little instructions at Christmas include the following:
- Attend church.
- Show appreciation for each other.
- Go caroling.
- Ring the bell for Salvation Army.
- Clean out the coat closet and take one’s old coats to a local shelter.
Early morning temperatures have been in the low 20s. The wind seems to find its way around the hollows, making it rather unbearable. The area has its landmarks for the motorists to enjoy. Hoover Mountain has the chandelier on the Mitchell turn, the smiley face at the Hoover turn on Route 21, and the blue bottle tree at the Mitchell place on Route 21.
Quotes for the week are as follows:
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” — Roy. T. Bennett.
“It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.” — Sarah Kay
“December is a simple wish that brings spectacular moments.” — Unknown
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” — Charles Dickens
Life is so much better sitting by the fire to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
Shaun, Ava, and Leslie Bowers enjoyed Christmas activities and seeing all the Christmas lights Saturday evening at Creative Works Farm in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Donna and Bill Arrington went to Morgantown to celebrate their youngest grandson’s birthday. He turned one. His name is Zayne Lee Thomas Arrington.
Wanda Pitsenbarger of Franklin stopped by Sunday to visit with Phil Downs. The two then went up to the Smith homeplace to get some evergreens for home decorations. On the way back home, they stopped by to visit with Rosalee Grogg, K.D. and Verla Puffenbarger, and their daughter, Beth McNulty of Dayton, Virginia.
A visitor in the home of Rosalee Grogg, besides Wanda Pitsenbarger and Phil Downs, was Marleta Grogg of Franklin.
Congratulations to Dr. Morris Homan upon his retirement from many years of service of veterinary work. He leaves on a high note of distinguished and dedicated service; a trait he learned from his uncle, Dr. Walter Byrd Homan, and his granddad, Dr. Virgil Homan. Sugar Grove is mighty proud of him.
Friday night found Judy Costello, Janet Judy, Terry Harper and Evelyn Varner travelling to the Elkton Virginia, community center to listen to the big City Band and the Southern Grace. The following night, they all enjoyed hearing the Promised Land Quartet at the Victory Fellowship Church in Dayton, Virginia.
Sunday found Reda and Roger Shrewsberry, Eugene Varner and Evelyn Varner enjoying the renditions of the Delawder Family at the Brandywine Baptist Church.
This week’s clickety-clacks for the chin waggers are as follows:
- The Dutch gave the idea of leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus.
- The most hectic days of the year are Friday and Saturday before Christmas.
- “Jingle Bells” was actually a Thanksgiving song.
- “Silent Night” is the most recorded song.
- Settlers created the first American eggnog.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: Mercedes Aumann, Vernon “Fuzzy” Baldwin, Lynn Beatty, Jack Bennett, Jimmie Bennett, Bill Brackman, Jed Conrad, Jeff Evick, Ina Evick, Dan and Margaret Ferrell, Ron Gilkeson, Lola Graham, the Dwaine Gillispie family, Steve and Armanda Heavner, the Anthony Henderson family, Gary and Jackie Hills, Virgil Homan, Jr., Charlee Marie Hoover, Keith Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Debbie Horst, Doris Hull, Bob and Cynthia Hurry, Lisa Dawn Jamison, Alice Johnson, Kim Kline, Richard Judy, Melissa Lambert, Tammy Lambert, Robert Lambert, Rex Landis, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Betty Mallow, Roger and Skip Mallow, Naomi Michael, Gary Mitchell, Gloria Moats, Joe Moats, Melvin Moats, the Junior Murphy family, Helen Nash, Aaron Nelson, the Ken Nelson family, Ruth Nelson, Bennie Nesselrodt, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Shirley Pratt, Betty Lou Propst, Kathy Propst, Sheldon Propst, Mary Puffenbarger, Verla Puffenbarger, Jason Rexrode, Jimmy Rexrode, Kent Rexrode, Pam Rexrode, Donna Ruddle, Annie Simmons, Barbara Simmons, Barry and Phyllis Simmons, Davey Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Tom Simmons, Robbie Sites, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Patricia Swecker, Rosa Tichenor, Sandra Vandevander, Ron White, Judy Williams and Larry Wimer.