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  • Writer's pictureNathan Hoffman

December 13-19, 2020 news

Thank you to the Caleb Bill Family who came to sing Saturday afternoon. The new, bright lights under the carport make it much easier for residents in the lobby to see who are singing at the window as well as it's better for the singers, too, to be able to see. Meanwhile residents in their rooms can listen over the intercom system with the microphone outside.

Thanks to the Christmas elf who gave of his time on a Saturday to bless the residents in the nursing home with sparkling clean windows to look out. While volunteers can't come inside the Home, the staff is very appreciative of those who still assist with other tasks like picking up the mail each day at the post office, mowing the lawn last summer, running errands, etc. We certainly look forward to the day when volunteers and visitors can be welcomed into the Home again!

On December 12, our countdown for the Twelve Prayers of Christmas continued. On the 11th day was the prayer of HOPE. May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing so “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

That afternoon featuring on Activity Channel 2 was the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City, starring the Radio City Rockettes. Many were tuned in to watch this annual musical holiday stage show. Then after supper many turned to a local TV channel to see the replay of the East Peoria Festival of Lights Parade.

Later that evening everyone enjoyed Christmas caroling from the Apostolic Faith Church singers. There were several families who praised God with their voices outside the lobby window, which was played over the Home’s intercom system for all to hear. We especially delighted in the small children who sang. Children sure have a way of always brightening our days. After the singing, residents were served cookies and hot chocolate.

On Sunday, the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Church Service was live streamed on our channel 2. Some watched in their rooms while others watched socially distanced apart on the large screen in the activity room. What a blessing to not just hear but also see the minister talking through the blessings of today’s technology.

Along with our typical Monday musings, resident could watch White Christmas on the Activity Channel while sipping on egg nog and eating Christmas cookies. Our 10th day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas was a prayer of LOVE. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Bob Knapp of East Peoria was admitted to the Home on December 14 and welcomed to room west 16.

Tuesday morning was busy writing and addressing many Christmas cards to send to friends and family. It’s A Wonderful Life was the holiday movie shown that afternoon on Channel 2. Our 9th day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas was a prayer of FORGIVENESS. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Thank you, Father, for forgiving us and thus purifying us.

Right after breakfast on Wednesday the fun started with an animated kid’s Christmas movie, Arthur’s Christmas. Then BINGO was played with numbers called over the intercom along with candy prizes passed out to residents’ rooms. That afternoon was a film called The History of Christmas. In this special presentation from The History Channel, we learned where various Christmas traditions came from. This was our 8th day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas. This was a prayer of MERCY. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36

The many blessings from the countdown for the Twelve Prayers of Christmas continued on Thursday, December 17, with our 7th Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas. We prayed for KINDNESS. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 Several holiday movies were available on activity channel 2 throughout the day, starting in the morning with Paper Angels. The afternoon featured Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and later that evening Christmas of Many Colors was shown. That morning two Roanoke American Legion legionnaires dropped off presents for the veterans living on our campus. Thank you to those who support the Gifts for Yanks to remember those who served our country.

Norma Haase of Benson was admitted to the Home on 12/18/2020 and welcomed to room west 18.

On Friday during Step Back in Time, which is usually done as a group but instead activity staff went around room to room to visit, residents spoke about Christmas traditions and noteworthy presents from their childhood. Residents Eloise Diggelman shared that her favorite part of Christmas Day was breakfast. Her mother prepared an excellent meal for the family that she still remembers today. Marge Fischer shared that after she got married she and her husband would take their whole family to visit her family back in Ohio. She remembers the sometimes crazy 5-hour drives that ensued every holiday season. Bernice Knapp noted her love for making Christmas cards with her mother. She remembers sitting at the kitchen table helping with stamps and envelopes alongside her mother, something she will cherish forever. Both Hazel Harold and Mary Lou Martin shared their most memorable gifts—baby dolls. Both ladies still have them to this day and Mary Lou even has hers sitting on a shelf in her room at the nursing home. Hazel told a story of how her parents made a special effort to have a memorable Christmas, despite not having much money…and they did just that. One year her father got a train set for her brothers. While the kids were upstairs playing after dinner, their father set up the train tracks, which stretched from one side of the dining room to the other. But being the only girl among three brothers, she noted how her parents were determined to “make a girl out of her.” Hazel remembered that same Christmas her parents gave her a baby doll. Her mother also had made the time to hand-make a few clothing pieces for the doll throughout the previous year. Hazel noted how that despite not having much it was the best Christmas.

It was our 6th Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas on Friday: a prayer for GENEROSITY. Let us be enriched in every way to be generous in every way and to give the glory and thanks to you, Lord! “Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11 Also that day was some Grichmas fun while watching the Dr. Seuss movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas and activity staff served up some special, green Grinch punch and “two-sizes-too-small” cookies. What hilarity could be heard and seen that day. The Anderson Family sang carols in the evening at the lobby window. It was very nice to see their family perform again.

For our 5th Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas on Saturday, we prayed for COMPASSION. Let us live in harmony with one another as instructed in 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” The day was busy with Home Alone shown on activity TV channel 2 after breakfast. Thanks to the group who came to sing later in the afternoon. In the evening, residents were able to tune into WEEK TV to watch the Northwood’s Community Church Christmas Production.

The Elf-on-the-Shelf continues his daily appearances throughout the Home.

Several residents are thoroughly enjoying this fun little scavenger hunt each morning to try to find Rona or Corona as they have been cleverly named. Others are surprised when they suddenly notice “that little guy over there! What’s his name?” and their eyes get big while they break out in a huge smile. Or they point to the tiny red stuffed toy with a quizzical look on their face. It took some residents a very long time to spot him way up high on the emergency lights.

Thank you to the groups who have already Christmas caroled at the Home. This is a huge blessing for the residents! Please consider scheduling a window caroling sing this year with your family, church, or civic group by contacting Activity Director Mary Beth Knapp at 923-2071 ext. 170 or via email to to plan a mutually convenient date/time.

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