Like ornaments, thoughts of special people brighten the season and warm our hearts.  And we had 45 special classmates at our Christmas lunch today with friendships forged 55 years ago.  Those bonds will never be destroyed.  Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!
Shirley welcomed us in the festive surroundings at Bryan Place and gave a special welcome to Donna and Mike Iden,  Melonie and Ed Sterling, Fannie Bell Brill, and Sonie's husband, Robert Philip, all of which were attending the December lunch for the first time. 
Shirley shared with us the cards and notes of those unable to attend.  Carolyn Lanning is on a cruise (good for her).  Flo Dennis, Martha Pettry, Barbara Baughman Williamson, and Peg Holland Vanrensburg sent greetings, but were unable to attend. 
Classmates to remember in prayer:  Linda Achauer Steer's husband, Roland, is still in intensive care.  Larry Crist had triple bypass surgery the first week of November and will be home in the next couple of days.  Carolyn Balog Waite had her second back surgery in New Albany and is still recuperating.  Dick said he is doing it all!  They have been married for 52 years and during that time he had gone to the grocery store two times!  He is now learning how to grocery shop, but says when Carolyn has recuperated he will never enter a grocery store again.  Lois Haven is taking care of a friend who is ill.  Gary Mizer's brother is in the care of Hospice and a family member is with him at all times, so Gary could not attend. Shirley Schramm Stradler's husband passed away recently and she can't be with us.  We are wishing all of these friends a better time, and were sorry they couldn't be with us.
Another sad note is learning that Ron Curtis received an E-mail from Stanley Slack which he sent on to Doug Palmer, and Doug sent it on to Gwen.  Stanley's wife was in an auto accident on 9/26/08, and apparently she will never be able to walk again.  She had a broken neck in the accident with very little use of her arms and legs.  Stanley is caring for Wanda at home.  His address is 9594 Indigo Club Dr., Murrells Inlet, SC 29576 for those of you wanting to send them a card.
Sue Gause announced that Max Goldsmith has passed away, and wanted all of us to remember him.  She said Max has done a lot of good work and will be missed in the Mansfield area.
Several of our classmates come only to the Christmas party and it was nice to see Janet Adamson Lewellen, Lynn Jacobs Reed, Bob and Jean Ross, Gwen Moore Curry, Kinsey Tanner, and many others.
Shirley also received a note from Brenda Toler thanking us for the $100 our class sent for the Stadium fund in remembrance of Donis.
We all owe Mary Anna Fenton a big thanks for all the work she did making the arrangements for the Christmas party.
And of course we all owe Shirley a big thank you for all she does for our class.  Shirley shared with us why she didn't have her red Christmas outfit on this year.  It seems when you hang an outfit in your closet for a year it shrinks two sizes!  She shared with us that brain cells come and go, but fat cells last forever. 
She read the Christmas story called Veiled in Flesh and ended with prayer:  Angel of God, My Guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light, to guard, to rule and guide.  Amen
The food as usual was great, and we made a lot of noise singing Christmas carols after our meal.  We had Gwen Moore Curry at the Piano, Bill Ferguson on the trumpet, Don Fulkerson on the tuba and Kinsey Tanner, John Power and Cornelia led the singing.
Then Santa (Dick Waite) arrived with his two little elves (Sonie Philip and Jean Ross) and presents were distributed to all.
"Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect."...Oren Arnold
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night until we meet again at the Golden Corral on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.
Martha K. Cannon