Washington column for Dec. 17


Town party a success

Santa visit the Town Christmas party past Sunday night at the Town Hall, checking his list with every boy and girl to see if they have been good.
Santa visit the Town Christmas party past Sunday night at the Town Hall, checking his list with every boy and girl to see if they have been good. Joanie Ballard

Nearly 100 folks who live and work in town gathered Sunday evening for Washington’s annual holiday party. The town hall looked especially beautiful, dressed up with running cedar greenery, wreaths and candles in the windows and on the tables. The food was the best ever, ample refreshments and most of all,  tons of good cheer and warmth. Then out of nowhere appeared Santa with presents for the 15 children who were surrounded by their even happier parents, all busy photographing their smiling kids with Santa.

Mayor John Fox Sullivan called the evening the “best holiday party yet and a lovely bookend to last week’s spectacular Christmas parade.”

Gary and Wendy Aichele led the group in carol singing. It was  night to remember in years to come.

Many thanks go  to Laura Dodd for organizing such a memorable evening.

The community would also like to thank Laura Dodd and Jerry Goebel for decorating the signposts on the street corners of the town as well at the town hall.

Candlelight service

This Sunday evening (Dec. 20) at 7, a Christmas Service will take place in the beautifully decorated sanctuary of Washington Baptist Church at 180 Gay Street. This very special candlelight service will include a reading of the Christmas story and familiar carols, as well as the lighting of the Advent Wreath and special music provided by soloists and the church choir. The service will conclude with the congregational singing of “Silent Night” as the light of a hundred candles fills the sanctuary. For those arriving early, Angela Snyder and Wendy Aichele will offer music for violin and piano by Frederick Handel beginning at 6:45 p.m. Please mark your calendar now so you won’t miss this very special service. All are welcome.

Breakfast with Santa

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue holds its all-you-can-eat breakfast with Santa from 7 to 11 this Saturday (Dec. 19) at the fire hall, with all your breakfast favorites including scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pancakes, sausage gravy, biscuits, hash browns, fried apples, coffee and orange juice prepared by your local fire and rescue elves. Cost is $8 ($4 ages 4 through 12, younger kids free). Santa will be more than happy to pose for Christmas photos and to hear those Christmas wishes. All proceeds benefit the squad’s daily operations. For more information, call 540-675-3615.

A reminder

Moms and dads, don’t forget the Living Nativity that will take place this Saturday (Dec. 19) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the “Red Shed” beside the Rappahannock Library. Experience the Joy of Christ’s Birth with the Christmas story and live animals. The Living Nativity is sponsored by the United Methodist Churches of Rappahannock.

Historical Society news

The Rappahannock Historical Society has published a new book entitled “Histories and Mysteries of Rappahannock County, Virginia,” loosely based on articles written for the Rappahannock News 10 or more years ago. It is a collection of short articles and poems that look at people and events that have contributed to the history of Rappahannock County. The book is available at the Rappahannock Historical Society and the Rappahannock News for $21 (tax included). New posters of Rappahannock County have been produced with pictures of various aspects of the county: Images of the Past in sepia; Rappahannock’s Legacy in Shenandoah National Park; More Current Color Images of the county. These posters are available at the Rappahannock Historical Society and the Rappahannock News for $16  (tax included). Any and all of these would make terrific gifts.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to my dad, Pastor John Burke. He will celebrate his special day on Thursday, Dec. 24. Happy birthday, Dad!

Give Blood

A nice way to start 2016 is by donating blood, the gift of life, at the Red Cross Bloodmobile Jan. 6 at the Washington fire hall from 3 to 7 p.m.  You can schedule an appointment at redcrossblood.org/rcbmobile/drive/chooseDonationTime.jsp or call 1-800-RedCross. Also, a new option is available for those wishing to save time by reading and answering the questions before the drive. Visit  redcrossblood.org/RapidPass.  

Christmas Time in the Hollow

Let us all follow our hearts at this Christmas time

Santa’s sleigh bells are a ringing

It’s time for Christmas singing

Lights in each window a sight to behold

Christmas trees are bright and trimmed in gold

The shining light of a Christmas Star

Is his gift that might go far

Merry Christmas from that bright little hollow of mine