To the editor:
Some years ago, stars twinkled above the stable where a child was born. Now on Christmas Day, the air about Lake Placid twinkles as snow crystals float by. The twinkle can also be seen inside the Erdman Hall in the eyes of Claire Thayer and her team of chefs, servers and even the butter boy and team of candle lighters.
It was Christmas season in 1997 when Claire and Sheila Owen discussed the extensive efforts needed to serve Christmas dinner to their families. Wouldn't it be "more fun to get people together who might otherwise sit at home alone?" they pondered. With the sponsorship of the Ecumenical Charity program, Christmas meals have since been served in the hall of the Community Church.
The food victuals continue to be a delicious variety of freshly cooked meat, veggies with salads, breads and pastries, dessert delights with tasty beverages including a sparkling punch.
One placemat spoke of "sharing Christmas joy" through sharing prayer, song, scripture and "a moment." Another encouraged us to "share this season" through gifts of the saviour, scripture, music and "this meal."
This year continued the common attendance of about "four score" (80) folks gathered.
Every year, the Greenwood residence on the hill above the church sends a baker's dozen or so folks down to this gathering. There are also mature village natives (even several family generations together) as well as newcomers, such as from Phoenix - and even bringing their perennial Christmas visitors along with them.
We also are joined by folks from far away. This year Claire and Sherrie enjoyed their first Christmas seasons ever as college students from China, were brought to us by their English-as-a-second-language professor at Clinton Community College. They sang the seasonal song "Jingle Bells" in Chinese as well as wishing us "merry Christmas" in their native tongue.
Professor Holly Carey started her part of the program by asking if 18 Christmas legends were fact or fiction. Claire Thayer then assisted her in reading biblical Christmas accounts from Matthew 1 and Luke 2 to provide some spiritual food for this occasion. She then told us, yes, the lineage of Christ does include women who have the taint of harlotry and adultery early in their lives as well as a Gentile (non-Jewish) heritage (Rahab, Tamar, Bathsheba and Ruth).
We are not told that Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, and no boy came to the stable to the beat of his drum.
From year to year, we also find some attendees have been called to their home in the heavens above, and thus their stars twinkle over us as we gather together.
The Thayer family is to be thanked for their kindness to the community. Certainly the child of Christmas thanks them for their kindnesses as He said in Matthew 25:40, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."