It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The white stuff is out there, the first reports of icy driving which made going down hills in circles downright scary, finally getting the urge to play Christmas carols, the start of getting Christmas cards ready to send and grocery shopping lists for anticipating Christmas baking. Gotta love it!

Having said that, I don’t mean to sound like the Grinch, but in all the excitement of getting ready for Christmas, I remembered one thing that I absolutely dread—wrapping gifts. My gifts are always chosen with great thought but my family has come to expect that if they are beautifully wrapped, it wasn’t done by me. Sum it up by saying that for me, wrapping presents is like wrestling with a python. Especially bigger boxes. Trying to control the wrapping paper while cutting it, then usually turning out to be smaller than I calculated. Even with much of the paper having handy cutting lines on the back doesn’t help. Then we have the taping process. Tape hates me too—it always sticks where I don’t want it to stick, but heaven forbid where I want it to go, ends up flying open. Needless to say, I use gift bags whenever I can.

I spent a little time cruising the internet looking for new Christmas trends—I am beginning to hate the word “trends“. Do you know they have pickle-flavored candy canes? And Rotisserie chicken flavored? They have got to be kidding!

Met my friend Mary last week and we took over boxes for the Christmas Sale at Lincoln Elementary. I was glad to donate several rolls of wrapping paper, since I knew they wouldn’t like my gift wrapping skills. We later went for lunch and enjoyed a good visit before going on to other adventures.

Former Hixtonites, Tim and Marilyn Diemer got an early Christmas present in the form of a cute little granddaughter. Their daughter Laura and her husband Ron Hirsch blessed them with Alexandra Rose Hirsch on Dec. 5. Allie weighed 9 lb 2 oz and measured 21 inches long.

Nate Yeskie was named recently Collegiate Baseball Pitching Coach of the Year.

I wasn’t surprised that the youth group put together 333 pizzas this past Sunday. Their pizzas are so awesome that lots of orders are the norm. What surprised me was when I heard they started at 7:30 a.m. and had everything done and cleaned up by 10:00 a.m. Those young people have their assembly lines and production down to a science.

And by the way, the fact that we got our pizzas in time to watch the Packer game was pretty impressive. I swore to hubby that they were part of the reason the Packers won in overtime. He insisted that it was because he moved his chair to the proper spot.

Another successful Madrigal Dinner was held at BRF High School. Everyone should experience this extravaganza at least once in their lives and many times more.

Jake Henry Deml was baptized on Dec. 9 at the beautiful Holy Rosary Church in Medford, surrounded by friends and family. His godparents are Michelle’s best high school friend Hannah Ripp and Hannah’s fiance Shawn Pape. To add to the special occasion, Jake wore the baptismal outfit worn by his daddy Steve 26 years ago and his grandpa Steve 58 years ago. Special family pictures were taken, including one of four generations of Deml guys!

Speaking of well-oiled machines, this will be a busy week for Project Christmas. By the time you read this, Wrapping Night will have been held on Dec. 12. Boxing Night will be on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. at Jackson Electric. Delivering will be on Dec. 16. How lucky people are that there is such a well-organized and caring group that is responsible for giving people a Merry Christmas!

Local bell ringers are still needed in the area this Christmas season. To volunteer, call 608-989-9921. The Salvation Army appreciates it.

Although donations to the Animal Shelter are welcome any time, Coldwell Banker is heading a drive and will be taking donations of things for our furry friends until Dec. 15.

Friends and family all got together to yell “Surprise” as Chelsey Yeskie walked into her surprise birthday party.

I always enjoy hearing about Sue Grotjahn’s family adventures. Here is her latest. “After Thanksgiving our family got together for our traditional baking day. We made lefse, sandbakkels, coconut bon bons, peanut butter bon bons, date balls and date-filled cookies. It’s a great time to spend with everyone and take a little of everything home, instead of a full batch (too much). Getting our house decorated and ready for an earlier Christmas this year around everyone’s schedules. I went with Anna and her kids down to Tomah for the Holiday Train. One of the warmest nights for it! If you have never gone to one of their stops, it’s a lot of fun. All the train cars are decorated with lights, one car opens up for a concert and there are even passengers that ride the train. Christmas Carol Festival this weekend, Children’s programs and concerts next two weeks and family Christmas next weekend. Busy, tired, happy and wouldn’t have it any other way!”

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