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  • Writer's pictureNathan Hoffman

December 20-26, 2020

Sunday morning a live streaming of the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Church Service was available in both residents’ rooms and in the activity room. Following church, the Roanoke A.C. Bible Class students and teachers came outside the front lobby window to sing Christmas hymns. They also caroled at the Country View apartments. This big group of teenagers certainly could make a joyful noise, which brought much happiness to the hearts of those who were listening. And how God must have been pleased, too, with their praise for baby Jesus.

Monday, December 21, was our 4th Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas, which was a prayer for JOY. Let us be JOYFUL in “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 Later that afternoon Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure and Craft in America—Holiday Edition was shown on the activity channel 2. The activity staff was also busy putting around more fresh floral arrangements for Christmas week. These beautiful decorations arranged by former owner of The Flower Bin and now Activity Assistant Phyllis Eden add so much to the holiday décor this year. The warm, inviting atmosphere of the fireplace in the lobby makes for a great place to enjoy all the Christmas decorations.

In addition, the enormous volume of daily resident mail and many packages being dropped off for people’s loved ones in the nursing home has been bigger than ever this year with COVID restricting visitors. What smiles the mail delivery brings when activity staff comes down the hall with their cart full of letters and gifts of love from family and friends who still remember them!

Roanoke American Legionnaires Mike Adams and Willis Surratt delivered Christmas presents for the many veterans who live on campus here. They stated their strong commitment to remembering all those who have served our country in the past, not wanting to miss anyone from their Gifts for Yanks this Christmas season.

Resident Ken Thompson was very pleased with his new, warm sleep pants that he received from this wonderful program for the vets. Many prayers to those man and women who are currently serving and away from their families over the holidays.

For our 3rd Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas on Tuesday, we prayed for SALVATION. Thank you for providing Jesus, our Savior. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 Shortly after lunch staff gathered in the halls and sang Christmas carols for our residents.

Wilmer Blunier of Roanoke passed away on 12-23-2020 after being a resident at the Home for 3 years and living in the Country View apartments for many years prior to that. Special sympathies go to his family when having to bid their loved one goodnight over the Christmas holiday. On Wednesday our 2nd Day of the Twelve Prayers of Christmas was a prayer for OBEDIENCE. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22 Not just in the Christmas season but throughout the year, may we all not merely listen to His Word, and so deceive ourselves, but help us do what it says.

Wednesday everyone got “All Aboard!!” the Polar Express. Staff and residents were encouraged to stay cozy in their pajamas, just like the children in the story. After getting our train tickets punched, residents and Country View tenants enjoyed watching the movie on activity channel 2 while we sipped our indulgent “hot, hot, hot chocolate.” This hot chocolate was a special recipe prepared in a crockpot and slowly heated all morning. It was so rich and extra chocolatey.

The many blessings from the countdown for the Twelve Prayers of Christmas concluded on Thursday, December 24, with the final, 1st day of Christmas Prayer, which was a Prayer of Life! John 10:10 says “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Thank you to the activity staff for organizing this special way to celebrate the anticipation of Jesus’ birth.

Christmas Eve morning the 1946 American Christmas classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, which happens to be our activity director’s favorite Christmas movie, was shown. Her favorite part is when the angel Clarence signs his beloved book of Tom Sawyer with the note, “No Man is a Failure who has Friends” to George Bailey, who is restored to his life that he had looked at with despair. In the midst of his lost finances and lost opportunities in life, with the help of his guardian angel, he realized how each man's life touches so many other lives and how “rich” he truly was.

In the afternoon on the 24th, staff gathered together in each resident hallway, first the west hall and then the east hall. The residents joined the staff in the halls by coming to their doorways. The Christmas Story was read from Luke Chapter 2 followed by candle light singing of Silent Night. This was a beautiful way to praise our Savior’s birth. After the singing, residents were served a refreshing glass of cranberry ginger ale with a pretty poinsettia napkin.

Also that afternoon the finale for residents finding Corona and Rona, the two Elf-on-the-Shelf, included a visit from The Grinch. CNA Brenda Jenkins accompanied with her mother, EVS lead Reva Peterson dressed as the Grinch’s helper, delivered a special gift basket to the two residents whose names were drawn out of the basket of residents who had found the mystical appearances of the Elf-on-the-Shelf throughout the preceding weeks.

Nursing Home residents as well as Country View Tenants commented how much they enjoyed the daily Christmas movies all month long on activity channel 2. The Home appreciated our local public library allowing activity staff to check so many out. There were several requests to keep the fun movies going every day even after Christmas.

Christmas Day many residents opened special gifts from family and friends, received phone calls from their loved ones, and enjoyed window visits. Carol Sauder’s family blessed her with singing Christmas carols at the lobby window, which many residents were the beneficiaries of this special visit. Also shown on activity channel 2 was The Nativity Story. The morning also included the live Roanoke Apostolic Christian Christmas Day Church Service over the intercom.

The dietary department served up a very special Christmas Dinner for the holiday that included a choice of prime rib or bacon wrapped pork chop with maple glazed, loaded bake potato, roasted carrots with onion & garlic, dinner salad, and New York Style Cheesecake with assorted toppings all served on a pretty poinsettia placemat. A beautiful candy/cookie treat included homemade fudge, peanut butter blossom, and petit fours was also delivered to each resident’s room.

Thank you to those families and groups who Christmas caroled at the Home over the holiday season. Please consider scheduling a window sing in the new year with your family, church, or civic group as residents truly appreciate this more than ever before with the long COVID restrictions. Contact Activity Director Mary Beth Knapp at 923-2071 ext. 170 or via email to to schedule a mutually convenient date/time or discuss any creative ideas for window entertainment.

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