These are the words of Grace Noll Crowell on "Facing Christmas:"

"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 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!"

With this Christmas promise to ourselves, what a wonderful Christmas this would be.

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Christmas was "Open House" Sunday afternoon at the Philadelphia Home Arts Club's Christmas Tour of Homes.

Ronny and Michele Jones, Tommy and Pam McCool, and Cheryl Mars played hosts and lent Christmas cheer to a happy throng of excited and admiring guests who visited their homes.

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Amzie Boulden's second birthday party was attended by millions of Lifetime TV viewers. Amzie, the daughter of Dr. Pete and Emily Dees Boulden, celebrated her third birthday Saturday afternoon, Nov. 30 at the home of her grandparents, Bud and Mandy Dees.

No TV cameras this time.

Just "Friends."

I drove the chariot for Amzie's great-grandmother, Peggy Williams Dees.

We were greeted by Snow White (Caroline Dees Sledge) and Aurora (Nancy North) who invited us to walk the pink carpeted stairs leading to the veranda of the Antebellum castle.

The door reading, "Welcome To The Princess Ball," bid us welcome.

Inside, the Birthday Ice Princess Elsa (Amzie), complete with her pink crown, graciously received her guests, who included Princess Belle (Annie Kate White), Cinderella (Mary Laurence Vowell), Rapunzel (Josie Byars), and Ariel (Caroline Mars). Princess Sophia was well represented by Emma James McDonald, Marianne Truitt, and Mamie Marshall.

Other princesses attending the royal affair were Ava Byars, Hallie Hillman, Linnie Kate Kilpatrick, Minnie Gamblin, Lane Deweese, Mary Montgomery Mars, and Mary Thomas Crosswhite, who wore a royally fashionable Williams Brothers fur vest over her princess attire.

Keeping a close watch over the fairy-tale ladies, when they had rather been watching the ball game, were Pirate Jack Sparrow (Levi Dees) and Prince Tate Miller.

Princess Amzie and her friends were entertained in the formal dining room of Mamie's castle.

The magic continued as they ooh-ed and aah-ed over the Princess birthday cake, a pink and white confection, topped with the royal crown.

They dined on crown-shaped castle sandwiches, slipper-shaped rice crispy treats, and fruit wands from a table set for royalty.

The lofted back porch, overlooking the pool, was a canopy of hundreds of pink and purple balloons.

The "magic mirror" wasn't talking as to "Who is the fairest one of all?" as Princess Elsa and her lady guests had their hair pixie dusted, their nails painted, and their lips glossed at the Bibbity Bobbity Beauty Bar.

Pirate Jack Sparrow and Prince Tate joined them at the coloring table.

Sharing the magic moments were Amzie's great-grandmother Nancy Hardage, and aunts Lynn North and Jamie Dees.

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Ellaweese Boler celebrated her 90th birthday Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Her friends, family and fellow residents at Atwood Personal Care Home sang "Happy Birthday, Ellaweese," accompanied by Laura Dobbs Bryan on the piano.

Ellaweese and her guests enjoyed birthday cake decorated with her "favorite red roses."

Laura's grandsons, Will, Ben and Charlie Adams, sons of Shannon and Lee Dansby Adams, distributed "Ty" Beanie Babies to everyone from the toy chest of Jean Marshall who attended the party.

Ellaweese's special guests included her brother, J. C. Walton, his wife, Faye, her niece, Priscilla Pigg, and daughter, Genna Grace, Madonna Goldman and Sheila Morgan.

Other friends attending included Katelin Atwood Adams, Whitney Amis, Beth Johnson, Keisha Boyd, Claudia Hathorn, Kay Barfoot, Kristina McMillan, Kim Grace, Rebecca Pitts, Kay Salter, Sarah McKay and Rachel Evans.

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Betty Chatham, who now resides in Winter Garden, Florida, was in town for the Thanksgiving Holidays as guest of her son, Louis Chatham, Jr., and her friend, Rae Gordon.

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The Dec. 3 meeting of the M&M's (Mature and Modern) set the stage for the Advent Season as Frankie Harpole presented the story of the Jesse Tree, the story of creation until the coming of the Christ Child.

Janice Williamson called the meeting to order and Tom Wallace Cox led in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Special guests were Tommie Banks, Melissa Brown, Laura Horn, Sue Lewis, Kay Salter, Earlene Peebles, Merline Barnes, and Kenny Hillman.

The Rev. Fred Britton gave thanks, after which members and guests enjoyed a delicious potluck lunch, hosted by Jo Lynn Parker, Betty Ann Prince and Janice Williamson.

Laura Bryan, guest pianist, played Christmas Carols during lunch, and accompanied Kenny Hillman and Patt Fiedler as they sang "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming," a prelude to the Advent story.

Members in attendance included June Mitchell, Mary and Ray Marshall, Shirley and Tom Wallace Cox, Sara Hutcheson, Babs Kirkland, Janice and Rayford Williamson, Jan Williamson, Bobbie Holley, Betty Mooney, Mary John Turnage, Betty Ann Prince, Fred Britton, Patt Fiedler, Jo Lynn Parker, Rachel Evans, Hazel Allen, Virginia West and Sarah McKay.

Jan Williamson and Brenda Matthews will be hostesses for the Jan. 7 meeting, at which time Steve Wilkerson, our friend, "Citizen of the Year," clothier, and grateful organ recipient will speak on the subject, "Thank you, Lord, for another year."

Make your plans to attend.

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Thanksgiving Day 2013 is past, but not the Spirit of Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for the city workers who work so diligently in picking up the leaves that cover us this time of year.

Thank you!