We’re coming into the Christmas home stretch. The one where you send out a bunch of Christmas cards, but still have to send the few where yearly accomplishments are shared in a letter. The one where you hopefully have your ingredients for the goodies you are planning to make but knowing that chances are, you’ve forgotten something.

The one where you think you have all your gift shopping done but something pops up that you think you just HAVE to buy like the gadgets that are suddenly showing up like a device that lets you tip bottles over so you can store to get the last drop, flashlights that run on water, a device that lets you block all those annoying calls and my personal favorite, which I might just buy for myself, is a combination tongs, spatula and colander.

The one where you have a bit of foot stomping temper tantrums, and just plain orneriness, which can put you from the nice to the naughty list when you see that even the “lowest” prices that were guaranteed when things were purchased now are even lower.

I love getting Christmas cards, don’t you? My favorite ones are from friends who have young families where they send pictures and letters. Sentimental me saves them and part of my ritual every year is bringing them out and comparing to the years before.

I love sending cards out too. The way my handwriting is getting to be, it looks like I have been sampling a little too much eggnog so I hope the recipients know it’s from me. Kind of like the way I wrap packages.

Another part of my ritual is knowing that I will get no help in the actual writing of addresses and sentiments in the cards. Hubby hinders more than he helps in the writing part, but he sure does enjoy delivering things to the post office. Works for me!

Our Christmas this year is going to be a little discombobulated, but for the best possible reasons. Unlike last year, TJ is home for an extended visit from Colorado bringing his two cats, Lucas and Zachary, and Jason while having a week at home for the holiday, has to work on Dec. 24. So Christmas will be coming early and I am one happy mom.

We enjoyed a surprise visit from nephew Keith Johnson of New Richmond who dropped in while in the area. He was there to watch the disappointing finish to the Packer/Panther game, and enjoyed visiting with his cousins whom he hasn’t seen for a few years.

This past weekend was the time for Christmas programs. The Christmas program at New Hope Community Lutheran Church was held this Sunday.

Both Northfield and Our Savior’s Lutheran Churches had their Christmas programs this Sunday also. I am so thankful for the folks who record the programs and present them and pictures on social media. For those of us who just can’t get out and about very well during the winter, it is a treat to be able to see them.

The 75-Bird Christmas Shoot was held recently at the Hixton Rod and Gun Club. They had a great turnout with 38 shooters and it was a busy day. The top shooter was Sandy Jack from Altoona. The winners from the Christmas Raffle were: Scott Gilbertson, BRF; Dan Lambrecht, Iron Ridge; Anne Mageland, Hixton; Tom Meyers, Arcadia; Ron Moehr, Mayville; and Greta Gearing, Taylor.

I recognized a few area names from the 4-H Honor banquet. Cloverbud graduate Kielyn Rowekamp. Club honor awards were given to Riley Hentsch, Doyle Hagen and Madison Shramek.

Club honor awards were given to Northfield Go-Getters Kivren Brasda, Carter Mann, Harold Smith and Stephen “Junior” Smith. Diane Heusi was recognized as a Friend of 4-H.

Congratulations to Ruth Casper of Hixton on her upcoming retirement from the School District of Black River Falls after 27 years. I remember fondly her years at Hixton Elementary School while she was school secretary and I came in to volunteer. This lady is a real go-getter and I don’t see retirement slowing her down any.

Congratulations to Carol Jarrett on being hired to the position of program assistant at Interfaith Caregivers. We wish you much success in your new adventures.

Christmas Bucket List: instead of buy presents, be present. Instead of wrapping gifts, wrap someone in a hug. Instead of sending gifts, send love. Instead of shopping for food, donate food. Instead of make cookies, make memories. Instead of see the light, be the light.

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