In And Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

Can’t believe it’s almost Christmas – I’m suspending the “schools” series till after the first of the year.

Christmas is the time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I’m not too sure how many folks know that anymore. Seems to me we talk more about Santa and Frosty than we do the Prince of Peace. More about Black Friday and the bottom line than the reason for gift giving.

Our lives have been made richer by the treasured memories of our holidays past – the warm smells of traditional foods, mulled cider and wines, Christmas goose and turkeys, fish or oysters on Christmas eve, pierogi, latkes and sufganyot for Passover, mince pie or paneltone, figgy or plum pudding with that wonderful foamy or hard sauce.

Do you head to the woods to get that fresh cut tree or up to the attic to get that old tried and true that only hurts you if you have an allergy to dust? Do you put it up Christmas Eve or a week or two before? Do you think about the history of each of the ornaments as you put them on?

I remember as a child, running home from school so I could get to the cards before anyone else did and display them on the piano. Now most of my Christmas greetings come by cyber space but I look forward to them just the same. I remember when I was a preacher’s wife, I would make garlands with the cards and hang them around the rooms. I musta had too much time on my hands!

I used to spend a week making cookie doughs and then Sunday afternoon we’d all gather at the dining room table and shape and decorate them. Now I make only the favorites and send packages of them to those not able to be home for the holidays.

Over the years I have amassed a sizable Christmas village – Hannibalville.

It features Hooper Lane – the street with the churches on it and Rita’s Point – the lighthouse of course! James Way and Starr Trek are housing developments and Lake David and Courtney Pond are joined by London’s Bridge. Alyssa Lane goes to the park and Noel’s Inn is the nativity. You’d think I’d named the folks in my family so I could use them in my village!

I still love to watch the classic Christmas movies and take in a live play or concert.

And of course Hannibal has it’s own traditions of the tree lighting, church services and Christmas Bureau. My husband and I did the shopping for new gifts for the Christmas Bureau for 20 years beginning in the 70s. When we began, we were allotted $1 to buy a new gift for each child.

This Christmas, as you gather around the dinner table, share what Christmas was like when you were a child … maybe that was when all Christmas trees looked like Charlie Brown specials … or when the only toy you got was a stuffed animal that your mom made for you, or maybe you only got a lump of coal in your stocking.

The traditions of family and holidays keep moving and changing but they make us who we are … keep the spirit and meaning of Christmas alive this blessed season and see you in church!

*********************

Hannibal Senior Dining Center meets at noon for dinner at the Senior Center (Library Building) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Come early for coffee and news or to work on a jigsaw puzzle or play games or just some chit-chat! Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471. This week’s menu is:

Monday, Dec. 23:  Pasta with sauce and meatballs, Italian vegetable, dessert

Wednesday, Dec. 25:   CLOSED:  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, Dec. 27:  Homemade macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, vegetable, cookie

Come join us for good food, conversation and games.

The Hannibal Methodist Church will gather at 8:30 p.m. for its Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.

Rita Hooper 706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

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One thought on “In And Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper”

  1. Peace is more elusive than we think. Author C. David Coates wrote an eye opening poem which, like a mirror, exposes us to truths we may not wish to see. Here is a slightly modified version of that poem.

    “Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then plead for ‘Peace on Earth.'”

    The good news is that anyone can break this cycle of violence. I did and you can too. Each of us has the power to choose compassion. Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: http://veganvideo.org & http://tryveg.com

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