Christmas is coming!

I saw it in all the lights that twinkled inside and out at the Choctaw Residential Center the night of their 25th Anniversary Christmas Party.

I saw it in the excitement as the children at Trinity Baptist Church prepared to sing "I Hope Christmas, The Hope of the World with Us."

I saw it in the faces and heard it in the voices of the children at First United Methodist as they presented "Glory to God in the Highest."

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My sister, Sarah Darby McKay, our family poet-in-residence, was sure Christmas was coming, as we moved from one holiday to another throughout the year, until she could finally and joyfully proclaim: Christmas Is Coming!

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Happy New Year! Happy New Year to you.

Be happy. Be cheerful whatever you do.

Of course, New Year comes every January One;

So get out, get busy and have some fun!

'Cause-Christmas is coming.



February is the month of love.

Make it special with your sweet turtle dove.

A card with cupids and roses is the perfect valentine.

Champagne and music will blend just fine.

Don't forget: Christmas is coming.



Grab your beads and masks for Mardi Gras.

Bands and floats help to create the grandest celebration you ever saw!

And---The Ides of March was a favorite topic for Mr. Shakespeare.

But, be resolutely brave and do not fear--

Because-Christmas is coming.



St. Patrick's Day is commemorated by the Irish;

But, wearing green makes everyone St. Paddy Day stylish.

April 1st is known as April Fool's Day.

But, don't be dismayed---Just stand up and say:

Christmas is coming!



Jesus who was of woman born;

Was borned again that Easter morn.

He endured the cross of death and strife;

He arose from the grave to promise eternal life.

Christmas is coming indeed!



America the Beautiful: Home of the Free;

The 4th of July signifies independence for you and for me.

Long may the stars and stripes gracefully wave;

With prayers to God, our country to save.

Under the red, the white and the blue:

And all over the whole world too---

Christmas is coming.



Challenge this as a holiday if you dare;

It's the Grand Old Neshoba County Fair!

There'll be friends and food and fun a lot:

And weather that is extremely hot!

But, cold weather and -Christmas are coming!



We all know about witches who wear black hats;

We know about goblins and spiders and those scary old bats.

This is the holiday of Halloween when there are screeches and howls;

That come from ghosts and those wise old owls.

Who-o-o-o-o says Christmas is coming?



Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many;

We are thankful we can fill our Horns of Plenty.

We are thankful for those Pilgrims who were looking for a place to dock;

And boldly planted their feet on Plymouth Rock.

They knew-Christmas was coming.



Now Christmas has been coming the whole year through;

And now, it's finally here---Yahoo!



On a night so silent; so still and cold;

Occurred the sweetest story ever told.

This story is one of immeasurable worth;

It's the story of our Savior's birth.



It's of Christmas and Christmas is here.

It's available to everyone far and near.

With Christmas always comes abundant love;

This love is pure and true and comes from above.



Christmas is about Raggedy Ann and her friend andy;

It's about popcorn balls and peppermint candy.

It's about puppies and dolls with long blond curls;

And, about shiny batons that really twirl.



It's about foot and basket and soccer balls;

It's about fancy technology that makes all those calls.

It's about tricycles and bicycles and the likes;

It's about boots and other things one carries on long mountain hikes.



Christmas is about furs and diamonds and pearls;

It's about all those things so liked by girls.

It's about ties and shirts and all that stuff;

Of which guys just can't get enough.



Let us never forget, but always remember:

That our Savior was borned on the 25th Day of December.

Christmas is about Jesus; this is His birthday.

He was sent by God to show us the way.



So, Christmas is here; this is the day;

Christmas is truly here to stay. Hallelujah!

Amen.



Sarah presented the above proclamation to members of the Philadelphia Woman's Club last Thursday.

Each year she pens a new revelation about Christmas as a Christmas gift to her fellow members.

She is kind enough to share it with "Friends."

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Christmas came early for the Windhams at Disney World.

Four-year-old Jack Windham had a date to keep with his hero, Mickey Mouse.

Wendy and Andrew and Alan took Abby, 6, Ella, 8, and Trey, 7, to Disney World in 2009, with a promise to return in three years.

This year Jack was "old enough" to make the trip and all the rides he was not "tall enough" to ride andrew and Alan rode them for him.

They stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort located on Disney World property and took in all the fun Disney World had to offer.

The highlight of the trip came in attending the Very Merry Christmas Party on stage at the Magic Kingdom.

Here Jack got a giant hug from Mickey, they watched the Christmas Parade, attended the Christmas Show, featuring all the Disney characters, even had hot chocolate with them!

All this and Santa Claus too? Don't worry and don't doubt it, Jack, Abby, Ella and Trey.

Even Disney World can't outdo the magic of Christmas Day!

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For twenty-two years, Rebecca Lofton Barnett has honored the memory of her parents, Adelle and Ovvie Lofton, by returning to the home of her grandparents, Will and Lala Lofton, to host a Christmas Party for their Hope Community neighbors and friends.

Guests arrived at Rebecca's ancestral farmhouse at six in the afternoon in anticipation of the annual potluck Christmas feast.

Anna Clyde Lofton White and her daughter, Quenette White Broome of Natchez, assisted Rebecca in entertaining.

Prior to dinner, they played Christmas games for which Quenette had written the script and with Charlene Clark to assist her, they had the guests Ho-Ho-Hoing for Santa Claus, clippity-clopping like reindeer, swishing like sleds through the snow and falling like snowflakes.

Enjoying the added fun of "gift swapping" were Brenda Barnett, Allison, William and John Scott Boatner, Cindy Crenshaw, Faye Bobo Adcock. Barbara Pou, Juan Massey, Billy Greenleaf, Dorothy Wallace, Evelyn Perry, Oga Martin, Marzine Smith, Glenda Winstead, Addie Lee White, Norma Jean Sharp and Jo Lynn Parker.

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And now we will catch up on the B.A.L.L. News at First Baptist.

For their November meeting, Rebecca Barnett decorated the tables for the potluck luncheon in the splendor of fall colors.

The program was presented by Ronny and Linda Jenkins of Available Medical Supplies.

Their company's "Rooster" logo blended perfectly with the seasonal setting.

Ronny and Linda's display store is located in the Valley View Shopping Center.

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With Veteran's Day drawing nigh, Marge Davis chose Titus 2:11-14 as the text for her devotional.

She spoke on the startling suicide epidemic among veterans and the blessed hope to be found in the scriptures.

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Those in attendance were delighted when Ronny and Linda's grandson, Cole Kirkland, demonstrated the making of a cross by folding paper.

Cole and his sister, Sadie Kirkland, passed out favors to everyone present, who included Rebecca Barnett, Buck Bounds, Jane Cole, Marge Davis, Lamar and Estelle Fowler, Ruth Hamilton, Jim and Dorothy Johnson, Eunice Jones, Jane Parker, Jo Lynn Parker, Sammie Sharp, William Smith, Dorothy Thomas, Robert and Ellene Turcotte and Geraldine Watson.

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A total of forty-one of Sadie and Ollie Hardy's descendants met for their annual Christmas celebration at Bobby and Joyce Hardy's camp house.

The party, which began in late morning and lasted until mid-afternoon, included a delicious potluck Christmas lunch, games and the exchange of "dirty Santa" gifts.

Corine Brantley was hostess for the party this year.

Those in attendance included Corinne Hardy Brantley; Bobby and Joyce Hardy; Mike Hardy; Tommie and Jerry Hardy; Josh, Holly, Sadie, Lillie, Gabby and Lexie Hardy; David and Nancy Hardy Williams; Narcy and Perry Walker; John, Kelly, Beck, Lee, Mary Lee and Will Williams; Nelwyn and Allen Brantley, from Philadelphia.

Also, Bo and June Hardy Johnson; Terri and Brittney Pepper; Luke Walker; and Steve Brantley from Meridian; Kyra, Shane, Ally Grace and Lea Kathryn Hardy from Millport, Alabama; Mark, Micah and Malaree Williams from Grenada; Tim and Renee Brantley from Southaven; Kyle Brantley from Columbus; and Holly Hudson from Starkville.

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Couldn't close out the few days left before Christmas without sharing the words of Grace Noll Crowell: "I shall attend to my little errands of love early this year, so that the brief days before Christmas may be unhampered and clear of the fever of hurry. The breathless rushing that I have known in the past, shall not possess me.

"I shall be calm in my soul and ready at last for Christmas: 'The Mass of the Christ.' I shall kneel and call out His name; I shall take time to watch the beautiful light of a candle's flame; I shall have leisure-I shall go out alone from my roof and my door; I shall not miss the silver silence of the stars as I have before; And, oh, perhaps-if I stand there very still and very long-I shall hear what the clamor of living has kept from me: the angels' song!"