Your Town, Dec. 16, 2012

Everything I’ve attempted to do in an effort to make a great Christmas this year has backfired.

Decorating the house has been a long, drawn out process and it’s taking me much too long to hang the lighted garland strands, arrange the Santa and snowmen knick-knacks on the shelves, and create the nativity scene in its usual setting.

Argh! If I kick over that basket of pinecones one more time I’m going to scream. Nothing is going right. I feel like I’m paddling upstream. I’m trying really, really hard to make it happen, but Christmas refuses to meet me halfway.

For instance, we assembled the Christmas tree in preparation of decorating it and it fell over twice. I looked in three different stores before finding an artificial Christmas tree stand replacement.

I clicked on the “print” icon to print 40 copies of the Christmas letter and they came out faded — the printer was out of ink.

I stopped at the post office to buy several books of stamps to mail the cards, but the automated kiosk refused to cooperate — and the line to the service desk was worse than the line to sit on Santa’s lap. There’s still cookies to bake, there’s piles of lights, garland and knick-knacks that need homes, gift shopping and wrapping to start ... And then tragedy stuck.

The Connecticut elementary school shooting on Friday was the focus of the day in the newsroom. Reporters kept updated on the tragedy, televisions were broadcasting the events as they unfolded and it was the topic of conversation everywhere you went.

When I took a lunch break Friday, I walked into the cluttered, albeit quiet house, looked around and sighed. My heart was heavy and ached for the families, the victims who were senselessly taken.

Suddenly “a perfect Christmas” didn’t seem so important any more. I looked beyond the chaos that surrounded me, and could think only of the anguish surrounding children and families whose lives have been changed forever.

Perspective.

What matters most, at Christmas, is not perfection — I guess I’ve known that all along. Being with family, embracing the laughter and filling the house with love is what makes a perfect Christmas. Sadly, it took a tragedy to make that message more clear.

My heart goes out to those who will be missing family, this Christmas season.

The Sweet Adelines will present a history of their singing group and will sing a program of Christmas music at the next Museum of Western Colorado Oral History Program, at noon Thursday, at the Whitman Educational Center, 248 S. Fourth St.

Oral History Programs are jointly sponsored by the Museum of Western Colorado and take place the third Thursday of each month.

The public is invited to bring a lunch and enjoy the presentation. For this special program on Thursday, bring your favorite Christmas cookies to share with others.

Call 242-0971 ext. 209 for more information.

The Brush and Palette Club meeting is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Art Center, 1803 N. Seventh St.

Those who would like can bring two or three paintings and a panel of artists will give constructive critiques. Bring a friend along.

Call 462-7370 for more information.

Altrusa International Inc. of Grand Junction is conducting its annual fundraiser that offers two varieties of George pecans for sale.

Pecans come in 1-pound bags of plain and 12-ounce bags of chocolate-covered.

Proceeds from the sales will go toward the many programs Altrusa promotes in the community, such as grants, books for schools and the Grand Junction Imagination Library.

To purchase pecans or for more information, call 345-2712 and leave a message.

Five young men recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout through the Western Colorado Council Boy Scouts of America.

The scouts and their projects are:

■ Spencer Hebert, Crew 198, Craig, Gates of Ladore campground restoration, 104 hours.

■ Wyatt Oberwitte, Troop 144, Craig, American Legion parking lot re-striping, 142 hours.

■ Seth Whitesides, Team 386, Grand Junction, John McConnell Math and Science Center tutoring, 112 hours.

■ Ian Laga, Crew 386, Grand Junction, winter clothing drive for the Riverside community, 102 hours.

■ Kyle Snyder, Troop 225, Glenwood Springs, elementary school music room remodel/paint, 103 hours.

The annual German American Club holiday potluck will be from 3–5 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church, at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, in the basement.

Enter from the south side, off Grand Avenue, through the basement door, west of the office sign.

Bring a dish for the potluck, table service and drink. Water and sodas will be available. Members will sing German Christmas carols and will present checks from the Oktoberfest proceeds to the local high school German programs.

Call Jim Witt at 209-9241 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.

Submit your Planner and community news items by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax at 244-8578, or by mail to P.O. Box 668, Grand Junction, CO, 81502. Items to be considered for Your Town should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event.


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