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Tis the 4-F Season…Family, Friends, Food, and Frantic

Thanksgiving served as the warm-up for the remainder of the holiday season and the frenzy of parties, shopping, decorating, and baking are now under way. The pumpkins, corn shocks and fall leaves have been replaced by strings of lights, Santa Claus, and Christmas trees. ( I refuse to call them “holiday” trees!) The annual spectacular Winter Wonderland at Long Hall opened Tuesday night following the Krekeler Jewelers Christmas Parade. The theme this year is “All I Want For Christmas.”

Now that Winter Wonderland is open for the holidays, be sure to bring the children (your own or borrow someone else’s) to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and to “ohhh” and “ahhh” over the marvelous, to-scale village and train display. It’s sure to make everyone, regardless of age, feel like a kid again. And that’s a great gift in itself!

Local stores are bursting with enticing gifts for everyone on your shopping list and maybe even a few goodies for yourself. No need for the long, frustrating drive to the city, when we have such charming shops right here at home. And good news for the men: the shop keepers probably know the women on your list and can give you excellent suggestions as to what would put a sparkle in their eyes. Now that’s something you won’t find on the Internet!

There was a great deal of “to-ing and fro-ing” over the Thanksgiving holiday. Former residents came home to gather again around the family table, while many residents traveled to distant places for the same reason, or at least to those where the airlines were operating. Whether you were here or there, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We traveled over the river, through the woods, and around a whole bunch of curves to reach the farm of my cousins Ed and Belinda Harris and their son, Ben Harris, near Hillsboro. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, great company and a lot of reminiscing.

The Harris family is a member of the Morse Mill Baptist Church in Dittmer. The church congregation celebrates the Christmas season every year in a very unique way: they do an interactive, 40-minute tour through the town of Bethlehem. The tour begins inside the church where the women of the “marketplace” (dressed in period costume) demonstrate the making of pottery, cheese and bread. From there, guides lead the visitors along an outdoor path that simulates the journey Mary and Joseph took as they made their way to Bethlehem to pay their taxes. Arrangements for transportation for those unable to make the walk are available.

Along the way you may meet beggars, thieves and soldiers, along with a goodly number of live animals. You’ll most certainly see shepherds, angels and the three wise men as they appear to greet the Holy Family and Baby Jesus.

I’ve not seen it, but plan to attend one of the three performances that will be given this year beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 13, and starting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. All performances are free.

For information call 636-285-2411 or go to the website at www. The church is located at 6955 State Road B (as in Bethlehem), Dittmer, Mo. and is about 10 miles from DeSoto. It will do far more to get you in the holiday spirit than Black Friday!

Happy Birthday to a very special lady. Mary (Mrs. R. A.) Crouch celebrated her 103rd birthday this past Sunday at her Presbyterian Manor residence. Three of her children were here for the family gathering in her honor that afternoon. Present were her sons and daughters-in-law, John and Kathryn Crouch of Farmington, and Tom and Judi Crouch of University City, Mo.; and daughter Elizabeth Zelman of Creve Coeur.

Happy Birthday, Mary Crouch! You are an inspiration and a community treasure.

Milton and Gloria Hartshorn of Texas and their daughter, Heather of New York, were here during the holiday to visit Milton’s mother, Mrs. Barbara Hartshorn and other family members.

The engagement of Eric Griggs to Erika Camden was recently announced. Eric is the son of Anita Gray and the late Mark Griggs. Eric is a foreman with Canyon Concrete, Inc. in Farmington. Erika Camden, daughter of Archie and Sonja Camden, is employed as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at Washington County Memorial Hospital, Parkland Health Center and Midwest Imaging Center. The wedding is planned for the fall of 2014.

Happy Anniversary to Pattie and Dennis Smith who celebrated their 36th anniversary on November 25th.  Dennis’ parents, who live in Indiana, just celebrated their 60th anniversary a little earlier that month. There’s a goal to aim for! Congratulations!

Farmington is becoming a diner’s delight with another new restaurant, the Salted Duck Pub & Grill at the Factory, now open; two more to open soon, Shoguns and Hibachis; and the final ground-clearing under way for Panera’s (St. Louis Bread Company) to open possibly as early as next spring, depending on the weather’s cooperation.

Coming up:

Today, Dec. 5 …

The Newcomers Club met at 9 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church, W. Columbia and Cayce Streets. It will be the annual Cookie Exchange (bring three dozen cookies to exchange) and a music program. After the meeting there will be a luncheon (at your own expense) at Pasta House. Please bring canned goods for the Food Pantry.

Sunday, Dec. 8 …

The Community Singers of Mineral Area College will present the holiday classic “Messiah” at 4 p.m. at the Memorial United Methodist Church.

Saturday, Dec. 14 …

Be sure to visit the Cookie and Candy Walk starting at 10 a.m. in the parlor of Memorial United Methodist Church. A variety of cookies and candy will be for sale at $5 a pound. The church is located at 425 North Street.

Tuesday, Dec. 10th …

The Women’s Connection Breakfast Meeting from 9:15 – 11:00 a.m. at the A & C Restaurant, 3413 Rosener Rd. Hwy 67 in Park Hills. Farmington resident, Wanda Pruett will be the Special Feature. She is the former Coral Director and Vocal Instructor at Mineral Area College, and was also a member of Side By Side, a women’s barbershop quartet who performed at Silver Dollar City. Guest Speaker will be Carol Paris, from St. Peters, Mo. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and certified in Grief Companioning and Counseling through the Center for Loss in Ft. Collins, Colorado and Colorado State University. She works with the Military’s HEROES CARE and will share a journey from grief to glory. Make reservations for the $10 brunch by calling Joan @ 756-7226, Helen @ 756-5220 or Lucy @ 562-7492. 

Dec. 12 and 13 …

The Farmington High School Choral Program will host a madrigal dinner held at the First Baptist Church located at 210 North A Street. The dinner starts at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $15 each. All proceeds benefit the High School choral program.

In the hustle and bustle of this busy season, remember those who are alone, in need and homeless. If you’ve signed up to ring the bell for the local United Way, remember to do so. If you haven’t signed up, you still can by calling Donna Hickman at 760-8929.

And certainly give a donation where the area wishing wells are set up. Your change and dollars are a small way to celebrate the true meaning of the season, and they help so many.

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