Next Thursday is Christmas Day…I honestly can’t believe it! I am sure that all of you, myself included, are going to be very busy from now until then finishing up all the things we need to get done, checking our lists, cooking Christmas goodies, running errands, and on and on! As busy as we are, foremost in our minds is “the Reason for the Season.” I was reading some articles that Grandma wrote that didn’t get in the first book and one of them on Christmas really hit home. She was writing, like I was, about this being a busy and hectic time and that we need to remember the situation that Mary and Joseph found themselves in during this time, too. Think about it…. there was Mary who was due to deliver her baby at any time. That baby was to be the Son of God! She and Joseph, along with everyone else, had learned that they had to travel to Bethlehem in order to pay their taxes; to render to Caesar Augustus his due. When they arrived in Bethlehem, all the lodging places were already full; they could not find anywhere to stay. Finally, a compassionate innkeeper, offered them a warm place in his barn and there the Son of God was born. Don’t you know they were as frantic and overwhelmed as we ourselves feel sometimes? But that same God who was with Mary and Joseph, all those many, many years ago is still in control and He loves all of us. He will never leave or forsake us. Praise His Name! We all extend our deepest sympathy to the George Hanes’ family in his passing this past Friday night. He was a good, hard-working man who loved his family, grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. A wonderful service was held for him on this past Monday. I did not know this, but Mr. Hanes had purchased the handbells for Madison Baptist Church many years ago. He loved the music they made and the handbell choir at church makes some beautiful music with them. In his honor, they played a special at the service. His three girls, Kathryn, Carol, and Ellen are all a part of the handbells and they took part, also. It was really pretty. He will be greatly missed by his family, church family, and the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. I have also heard that Ralph Burruss who was once with the Source of Light Ministries here has passed away. We extend our sympathy to his family. The Fairview Christmas Club had their annual Christmas luncheon on last Wednesday at the home of Sally and Tony Stephens. Tony had worked really hard and we were all treated to his wonderful BBQ, BBQ chicken and homemade Brunswick stew. It was delicious! The club members all brought sides and dessert, so we had quite a spread. Around 25 of us along with our spouses were present. Sally had the house decorated absolutely beautiful with all kinds of Christmas decorations along with the beautiful Christmas tree where there was not room for another ornament, to table decorations, wreaths, and on and on that really showcased Grandma’s house. She would have been amazed but so proud of Sally and Tony for taking care of and loving her and Granddaddy’s house. Grandma and Granddaddy’s two children, Harriette Wade and Jake and Blanche Wilson were also able to come to the house they grew up in. What a treasure! We all had a wonderful time! Pat Stinchcomb entertained the WMU ladies of New Hope Baptist Church in Greshamville at her home last week for their Christmas get-together. Sarah Nell and Steve Craig hosted the adult Sunday School class of Calvary Baptist Church in Eatonton at their house on this past Saturday night for their Christmas party. Everyone enjoyed good food, fun, and fellowship. Friends of Mrs. Emogene Harper Hutchins will be interested to know that she has moved into Talmadge Heights assisted living quarters in Athens. The Eaton siblings, Frank and Mary Eaton, Joyce Bearden of Atlanta, Guy and Elizabeth Thurmond of Piedmont, SC., and Jim and Carrie Bearden of Atlanta all got together at a restaurant here in Madison this past week for their Christmas get-together. Most of the Bruce siblings also got together on this past Sunday afternoon at the home of Tim and Esther Curry for their Christmas. Faye and Jim Sisson along with their daughter, Candi, and their son, Bruce’s son, Joseph of Blue Ridge were all able to come. They all enjoyed the fellowship and Christmas goodies. In this modern age we all live in, they also enjoyed “skyping” with Effie, Doug, and Rose Powell in Italy so they could be a part of the family get-together, also. The Haley brothers and sisters also enjoyed a Christmas supper together at Cracker Barrell on this past Thursday night here in Madison. George and Becky Haley of Stockbridge, Inez and James Melvin Brewer of Buckhead, Robert and Janice Haley of Conyers and Dorothy and Dwight Eaton of Eatonton had an enjoyable time. We want to send wedding congratulations to Will Cox and his wife Amy as they were married this past Saturday evening. Will is the son of the former Kay (Maddox) and Mike Cox of Toccoa and the grandson of the late Carolyn and John Charles Maddox. We were also sorry to learn that John Maddox fractured his wrist the other week, but trust that he is on the mend, now. Frances Brewer down at The Lake Oconee House has told me that they have been so blessed this last week as every day they have had some church group from the area come and put on a Christmas program with the residents there. She said they have all been so good and everyone has really enjoyed it. She wants to thank them all! The children of Bethany Baptist Church put on a wonderful Christmas program on this past Sunday morning under the direction of the pastor’s wife, Ruth Ann Ventrello. After the service the church congregation met in the fellowship hall for their annual Christmas dinner which was catered by Annette Eaton which was delicious. The children of Trinity Baptist Church also put on a wonderful program this past Sunday for their congregation. Afterward, they all enjoyed their annual Christmas meal in their fellowship hall. Antioch Baptist Church would invite anyone that would like to come to their Christmas Eve candlelight service at 6 p.m. on next Wednesday evening.