Washington column for Nov. 29

’Tis the season

Signs of the season: R.H. Ballard’s festively decorated windows. Courtesy photo

With Thanksgiving behind us, Christmas is right around the corner. Yes, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Little Washington as folks prepare for the Christmas in Little Washington festivities and parade on Sunday, Dec. 2.

I notice that R.H. Ballard’s shop windows are beautifully decorated with polar bears and penguins. According to Joanie, “We have brought in so many gifts this year it is hard to choose what to pick as our favorites.”

Unique Christmas ornaments, decorated trees and holiday decor for sale: snowy woodland creatures such as foxes and owls, along with cute penguins and polar bears in all sizes. It’s really our biggest Christmas yet, said Joanie.

The annual Christmas celebration Sunday is from 11 a.m to 4 p.m, with festivities throughout the town. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m.

Christmas banquet

Gid Brown Bible Church in Washington invites all to its annual Christmas banquet at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Washington fire hall, with Pastor Don McCann from Tennessee as the guest speaker. For more information, call 540-937-4944.

Living Nativity

Don’t forget that on Saturday, Dec. 15, the United Methodist Church will be sponsoring a Living Nativity in the small red barn located just east of the Rappahannock Library from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Shifts of volunteers stand in costume in a reenactment of the birth of Christ, usually along with some small animals and music. This is a wonderful time to center on the reason for the season.

December babies

Birthday wishes to wonderful friends of mine, including Carol Beard, who will celebrate this Saturday, Dec. 1. Doug Baumgardner’s special day is Monday, Dec. 3.

Birthday wishes to my dad, Pastor John Burke, who celebrates Dec. 24. Happy birthday, Dad! Also wishes go out to Mary Ann Kuhn, Dr. John McCue, Dennis Fairbrother and Hunt Harris — their birthdays falling on Dec. 26. A dear wonderful sister-in-law of mine, Mae Racer, celebrates Dec. 31.

Losing someone special

Edna Pearl Chapman once said: Loved ones may leave this world, but they never leave our hearts.

My deepest sympathy to the family of Wayne Franklin Walker, 81, of Strasburg. Wayne passed away on Sunday, Nov. 18, in Woodstock.

He was retired from Aileen Inc, in Flint Hill, where he was a plant manager for 32 years. Wayne was an avid fan of the Washington Redskins, the Strasburg Rams and enjoyed farming. Wayne was the kind of boss who would listen to what we had to say, take it under consideration, and come up with a solution to benefit his employees. A man of honor.

Every time I drive by the Aileen plant I will remember working under Wayne Walker.

A memorial service was held last Saturday at St. Stephens Lutheran Church. Burial followed in St. Stephens Cemetery. Military honors were conducted by Shenandoah American Legion Post 77.

Sympathy also to Randall and Toni Updike of Washington on the death of their son, Justin Duane Updike, 37. He was an active member of 4-H and the American Angus Association. He graduated from Wakefield School, and attended Virginia Tech, where he double majored. Justin became a CPA in 2012 and worked as the Senior Accounting Manager for SAIC for over 10 years.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 8, at Moser Funeral Home in Warrenton.

Ireney Michael Albaneze, 85, passed away on Monday, Nov. 19, at his home in Amissville. He was an usher at St Peter’s Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. A mass of Christian burial was held last Wednesday, followed by interment at St. Peter’s cemetery.

Rest in peace, my friends.

Holiday books

The Book Barn is having a sale on holiday books during December. You can buy one and get one free!. Come by on Saturdays from 9 a.m to 3 p..m. All proceeds go to the Rappahannock Public Library.

Have a wonderful week.