It is a cold, dreary, and windy day this Monday and I think it is going to be this way all week. We have to take the good with the bad, don’t we? Christmas is getting closer and closer! I helped with the Christmas Tour of Homes this past Friday and I saw some beautiful homes with beautiful decorations. But, I will say, a lot of them used natural greenery and such that was gorgeous. Madison, itself, is like a winter wonderland, with the lights shining so pretty at night and the green wreaths with the red bows standing out so pretty on the beautiful white painted houses. It is a sight to behold! I, myself, like natural and inexpensive (a nice way of saying, “I am cheap”). When my granddaughter’s were here one afternoon last week, we started decorating. One of their favorite things to do is to set up my Christmas village. I got it years ago at The Dollar Store for $8, (I know, because I still have the box!) Through the years I have picked up little miniature trees and carolers, etc. from Walmart or, again, The Dollar Store to add to it. When Sally’s Kitchen store in downtown Madison was going out of business, I got a beautiful little white paper village like they have in Germany, so the girls wanted to add it to my other village. It, too, was marked down and on sale. With some fake snow they put everywhere, it makes a beautiful little scene which they just love and I do, too! On Saturday, little Miss Kylie, the daughter of Anna Bonner and Kyle Vining, celebrated turning one year old at a big birthday party down at Bonner’s Restaurant. The theme was from the Disney movie, “Frozen.” Around 40 – 50 friends and family were on hand to help her celebrate. Guests enjoyed Taco Soup, Mexican dip, cheese balls, hot wings, chicken strips, and much more. Kylie also enjoyed getting her hands into her own big decorated cupcake. She also enjoyed opening her many gifts of toys and clothes. Her Granddaddy, J.D. Bonner with help from her Uncle Dustin, had built her a beautiful toybox to hold all those many toys she received. They are going to need another one by the time Christmas is over! Happy Birthday, Kylie! Irene Paul and I attended Bill and Sue Hodges Christmas open house up around the Pony Express on Saturday afternoon. Now, it is what I call elaborate!! Every inch of the house is decorated as well as two or three Christmas trees. It was beautiful and a sight to behold! We weren’t there at dark, but I know it was a wondrous sight, too. They had chili and crackers in the outside kitchen as well as a table full of refreshments inside. The Chip Porter’s were also there to help and visit with friends and family. In some late Thanksgiving news, I forgot to tell about the Harper get-together of the family of the late Martha Sue and J. M. Harper. It was held at the lovely home of Gerry and Jill Penn on Thanksgiving Day. The families of Patricia Harper Chafin, Louise Harper Marett and Joan (Jimmy) Harper were all present to enjoy good food and fellowship. I have also heard that Mrs. Bickford, a former resident of Eatonton Road, has passed away. She had been in declining health for some time due to Alzheimer’s and had been living in Atlanta. The Bickford’s lived right next door to Anne Philpott before selling their home. Jason, Rebekah, and Grayson Kilpatrick spent the weekend in North Carolina visiting Jason’s mother, Necia Silver’s and her family. Emelyn and John Richard Wilson along with their families attended the Prospect United Methodist Church Christmas lunch on this past Sunday. Everyone enjoyed BBQ and Stew. Leigh and Matt Wilson along with Emelyn and John Richard Wilson attended the Christmas program down at Gatewood Schools on Monday night in which their granddaughter, Braylee, will perform. Emelyn and John Richard along with Leigh and Matt Wilson will also attend graduation ceremonies at Athens Tech on this Thursday night at which time Tori Atkinson will receive her diploma from the Cosmetology Department there. Congratulations, Tori! Bonner’s Restaurant was also the scene for their annual employee’s Christmas party on Tuesday night. All the employee’s enjoyed wonderful finger foods as well as swapping gifts with each other. The Thrasher family all met at Bonner’s for lunch on Sunday for their annual Christmas get-together. Luke, Emily, Gracin, and Thrasher as well as Ernie and Teresa Thrasher were among those who went. Antioch Baptist Church in Godfrey also had their annual Christmas dinner for the members on this past Friday night. I hear it was delicious! Antioch will also have their annual Christmas Eve service beginning at 6 p.m. that evening. Ben and Joanie Bruce opened their home on this past Saturday evening for a Christmas music party. Kristy and Kenneth Davis along with Kenneth’s family brought all of their musical instruments along with Katy’s boyfriend, Jefferson. This was in addition to all the instruments that Joanie and Ben already have. They all played and sang Christmas songs with trumpet’s (they had three), a flute, violin, harp, and piano. They also had scripture reading of the Christmas story and Kenneth’s sister, Janice, signed two songs with beautiful and flowing sign language. They had duets, trios, and solos as they sang around the piano. Tim and Esther Curry also joined in on the fun. All of that will get you into the Christmas spirit! McCayla Cook was a participant in the Community Chorus Concert that was held at the Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon. She played an sang, “Mary, Did You Know?” I know it was beautiful! Bethany Baptist Church will have their children’s Christmas program on this coming Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Afterward, they will have their annual Christmas lunch with Annette Eaton catering.