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The holidays are now over, most of the decorations down, family gatherings held and many think of it as a let down. Please remember, even though everything is put away, DO NOT put away your Christmas Spirit. And, especially, DO NOT put away the Christmas story of our Saviors’ birth. Continue to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, every single day of our lives, forever and always!
Barb Ward of Decatur spent Christmas weekend with her mother, Marie Held. On Christmas Eve they joined Bob and Bonnie Held and family for dinner, who were also celebrating their daughter, Kris Hagen’s, birthday. Also present were Phil and Linda Held and family of Hannibal; Andy and Cindy DiCarlo and family of Chesterfield, MO; Kyle and Kris Held and Mike and Lynne Adams, Piper and Graham all of Alton; Rae and Jean Payne of Bloomington and Eric Held. Lots of delicious food, gift exchange and a wonderful evening of visiting.
On Christmas Day, Marie Held of Brussels and daughter, Barb Ward of Decatur, enjoyed dinner and the afternoon with Marie’s son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Sharon Held in Alton. More great food, gifts and visiting. Barb returned home afterwards and Jim and Sharon took Marie home. She learned the dental office was closed for the week due to Covid so she returned again to her mother’s on Monday afternoon. While there she took down the tree and other decorations and cleaned the house for her, returning to Decatur on Thursday. Marie enjoyed her long visit and help as well.
On Thursday, Dec. 23, Melinda Snider accompanied me to Batchtown to see the beautiful Christmas light displays. First to Candy Cane Lane for the beautiful light displays of Tony and Jana Sievers, then to Mike and Barb Sperlo to see their lights, then back to Batchtown to see the Park and many more beautiful light displays in town. Afterwards we enjoyed dinner at the Fill-In. Brenda Sievers’ light display was even synchronized with music. Lots of time spent setting this all up but appreciated by so many.
Jeff and Chelsie Bonner and family and Daniel and Hope Kemper enjoyed spending Christmas Eve in St. Charles, MO with the Affholder family. They all attended church on Christmas Day and afterwards Bob and Shelly Affholder hosted a wonderful dinner. Christmas night Jeff and Chelsie and children hosted a family get-together with Hope and Daniel Kemper, Bernell Weigel and Ronnie Weigel and friend Sue. Earlier in the day Cody and Ashley Affholder and Cohen came to celebrate with Grandma Bernell Weigel and Hope and Daniel Kemper. The Bonner Christmas was held that afternoon with approximately 30 in attendance. Dec. 28-31 Jeff, Chelsie, Jace, Camden, Cal and Mila stayed at Table Rock Lake, close to Branson. Also in attendance was Bob and Shelly Affholder and Brett and Renee Affholder. They enjoyed their time at the lake house, with the Affholders, spending relaxing time in the pool and hot tub, visiting, enjoying great food and on the 31st, New Year’s Eve Day, spent a wonderful time at Silver Dollar City which everyone enjoyed and then returning home on New Year’s Day. They report a very busy week but so enjoyable to be able to celebrate with all their family.
Ronnie Weigel (and Sue) hosted the Weigel Christmas with family, neighbors and close friends in attendance.
New Year’s Eve was celebrated at A. J.’s Bar and Grill in Brussels as Angie and Joe Tepen’s last night of business. A large crowd was in attendance for the celebration, food was enjoyed throughout the evening, along with various drinks from the bar. Angie and Joe were in business for well over 20 years. They certainly will be missed but I wish them many happy and healthy years ahead. The new owner is Mike Ross of Golden Eagle. We wish him much success in the taking over of this business.
On Sunday afternoon, Mike and Erna Halemeyer hosted an Eschbach family dinner and belated Christmas get-together at St. Matthew’s Hall. So much wonderful food, gift exchange and afternoon together. Present besides the host and hostess were Carl and Pauline Eschbach, Mary Hoemmen and family (Jason was on the boat), Lloyd and Debbie DeSherlia and family, Jim and Cindy Eschbach and family and “Babe” Eschbach all of Jerseyville; and Chris and Jackie Dennison of Godfrey. Another son, Jerry, also had to work so he and family were not able to attend.
Carol Stepanek and Joe and Angie Tepen enjoyed spending Christmas Day with Stan and Carol Drainer and family in Jerseyville. Also present was Joey and Bev Stepanek and Bobby and Bonnie Stepanek, Austin and Michael.
The Red Hatters of Calhoun will meet on Friday, Jan. 14, at 11:30 a.m. (weather permitting) at the Fill-In in Batchtown. Hostesses for the afternoon are Mary Lee Rose and Margie Carnes. After lunch, games will be played and everyone attending is asked to bring 15 nickels. Looking forward to seeing all the Red Hatters.
Deepest sympathy to Mary Murphy and family on the recent loss of her sister, Linda Burton of Jerseyville who passed away on Dec. 22.
Also, deepest sympathy to Paula Wieneke on the loss of her brother, Fred Long of Dorsey who passed away on Dec. 26.
The Calhoun Volunteer Ambulance Service classes started on Monday, Jan. 2, and are held every Monday and Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. Please consider helping our county. They seriously do need help to keep the service available to everyone in Calhoun. Please consider joining their team to become an EMT.
Birthday Blessings this week to Duane Mossman, Missy Rowling, Mindy Snider, Katie (Held) Kinder, Baylee Kiel, Edwina Meyer, Charles Kinder, Jena Sievers, Cheyenne Brundies, Logan Tepen, Don Moennig, Lincoln Kulp and all others celebrating their natal day at this time.
We are now in the Epiphany Season, which marks the final celebratory day of the Christmas holiday season. It is also known as Three Kings Day when the three wise men visited baby Jesus, and begins on Jan. 6 and lasts until the first Sunday of Lent.
Dear Lord, keep us in that wisdom which you revealed to the Three Wise Men. Grant us Your Holy Spirit, that we may always seek You and Your Kingdom. Enable us to follow your Holy Word, as those from the East followed the leading of a star. Give us grace at all times and in all places to confess Your Holy Name. Amen