Service, celebrations and Santa mark Christmas season at the National Home

22 Dec

Now that school is out and Christmas is just a few days away, we’re all making last-minute holiday preparations and reflecting on what a busy December we’ve had at the National Home. It’s been a December to remember for residents young and old. We even had snow… for a couple days.

Several Jr. Girls from the National Home helped the Charlotte VFW Post 2406 with their annual Christmas party for military families December 3. The girls helped with the children’s activities, including a cupcake walk, choosing and wrapping presents for parents, making cards and decorating cookies. There was a turkey dinner for all, and Santa visited too.

Then, it was a weekend of holiday fun at the National Home when members of the VFW’s Military Order of the Cootie (MOC) and Military Order of the Cootie Auxiliary (MOCA) came to town to spread Christmas cheer December 9 and 10.

On Friday evening, the National Home’s fire trucks transported Santa, Mrs. Claus and his helpers from VFW District 8 of Michigan throughout the campus to deliver gifts and warm holiday wishes to our residents.  This year, Santa had some special helpers, as Dept. of New York Commander Harold Leavor and Auxiliary President Jane Reape were on hand to celebrate the expansion of the New York 2 House.

The fun continued Saturday as National Home residents and guests flocked to the Community Center for the 83rd annual Cootie Christmas celebration, followed by the Florida Cooties’ “Picnic in the Snow”. The program featured musical performances by National Home residents, a craft sale and the much-anticipated arrival of Santa himself.

Last week, the National Home’s Santa’s Shop opened, as it does each December, and the Community Center auditorium was alive with the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.

Santa’s Shop is a special store where children living at the National Home can purchase gifts for friends and family members using community service hours they earn during the year. Donations are collected throughout the year, and each item is priced in community service hour increments needed to “buy” the item. The most popular items are often gifts children can give to a parent, grandparent or other special adult in their lives, like tools, stationery, crafting supplies, bath items, hats and gloves or photo frames.

So while we’re likely to be only dreaming of a white Christmas this year, our days have certainly been merry and bright this season. Here’s hoping yours are as well!

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