Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend—and now we can start getting ready for Christmas, then New Year’s.
Is it really getting close to being 2018?
I have been telling my wife lately that it seems to me that when it gets to October and you know the holidays are approaching the time seems to fly by. It seems like we blink and it’s the New Year.
I enjoy the holidays for many different reasons, mainly that everyone makes a special effort to get together and spend extra time with friends and family. And the food isn’t too bad either.
We have done a few different things in the past few years and each variation on our longtime traditions have actually gone quite well. I imagine there are a lot of families where they had specific traditions for holidays that continued the same for many years. For some, conflict starts when someone tries to change that routine.
My wife and I agreed when the kids were getting older and would soon marry and bring new people into our family that we had to be ready for change. And we have been flexible every year if something needs to be different to accommodate others.
A few years ago we took a shot at going to the Silver Slipper Casino for their Thanksgiving Day buffet. Everyone loved it and we did it for two or three years—no cooking and no cleanup for the ladies—they were pretty happy about that.
This year we had Chateau Bleu in Slidell cater the main part of our Thanksgiving dinner, with the girls still cooking some of their favorite dishes or desserts. My wife has been the superstar baker for years when it comes to pies and this year she had a first—a concord grape pie thanks to a jar of grape filling brought back from New York by my brother and sister-in-law.
For us, the food is great, but really secondary to hanging around with each other and having fun visiting all day, which we did. Then we capped the day off by starting up our fire pit on the back porch after the sun went down. It was a cool Thanksgiving Day so the fire pit was perfect.
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day as well, and most of all, gave extra thought to how blessed we all are. Compared to so many others around this world we live like kings and queens. It’s hard not to be very thankful for that.
I heard a very interesting story from a friend of mine about the annual gathering in Washington, D.C. for the National Prayer Breakfast, begun in the 1950s.
Marlaine Peachey, executive assistant to Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere, is a committed Christian woman who has demonstrated her faith in various waysA great opportunity to show your appreciation for local artists, and spend Christmas money with local merchants, is available in the coming week across St. Tammany Parish.
The first “Shop Local Artists Week,” a state sanctioned event, will be held across the state Dec. 3-9 at various different places—all with the intent to bring attention to local artists and their work. But more than the attention is the hope locals will spend some of their holiday money in support of the artists who do plenty all year long to support our communities.
In St. Tammany Parish there are a host of events planned that will showcase the artists many of us are familiar with.
The week begins on Sunday, Dec. 3 in downtown Covington from noon to 5 p.m. when dozens of artists from the entire parish will have their work displayed in the 300 and 400 blocks of Columbia Street in the historic downtown area. We hope many of you will take the time to visit the art show which will give artists a chance to sell their work.
Special art events are planned the rest of the week in various places from Slidell to Covington, including musicians performing on Tuesday in the Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington, to the annual Sips of the Season and Christmas Past Festival that will be held in Mandeville on Friday evening and all day Saturday, both near the lakefront and historic region of the city.
Olde Towne Slidell has its own special event on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 in its historic area at the new Wine Garden that will also offer great shopping opportunities. And over 40 artists have their work displayed and on sale at the Chamber Martketplace at 1808 Front Street.
It is a well-known fact that local artists give of their time and talents all year long. Just ask the leaders of the dozens of non-profit organizations how much art is donated to their fundraisers each year—it is mind-boggling to realize how much our local artists give.
In return it is only right for us to consider supporting them by purchasing some of their art and now the first-ever Shop Local Artists Week gives you a way to do that.
We hope there is a great turnout at many of these events. You can get complete details by going online to:
Show your appreciation for our local artists by spending real money with them this week and thank them for their continual support of so many other events all year long.
. Earlier this year in February she decided to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, which featured newly-elected President Donald Trump.
Marlaine said that tickets to the event were $500 each, not to mention her cost to travel and stay in Washington, D.C. But she said she was willing to make the investment since it was an opportunity to see Trump up close, even though the prayer meeting held annually at the Hilton International Ballroom brings in close to 3,500 people a year.
Marlaine said that even now, months later, the events of the day still impact her in a strong way since the breakfast meeting includes close to 100 world leaders, all coming together with the same commitment to prayer. She said she sat next to the King of Jordan, with the Ambassador to Hungary on the other side of her.
Barry Black, the U.S. Senate chaplain, was the keynote speaker and Marlaine said he gave such a moving speech that she was crying the entire time. She said the power she felt in the room with so many world leaders joining together for prayer was something that made her very emotional.
As for our new president, her impression of him and his remarks at the podium “made it so unquestionably clear that he understands the power of prayer and believes in it. Trump said that ‘the most powerful words I hear when I see people is when they say they are praying for me.’ The whole thing was such a moving experience.”
One interesting side note was the security that was in place. She said the women were not allowed to bring their purses, then when everyone got inside the building it was locked down before Trump came in with his Secret Service guards. After the event was over she said Trump had his security men “scrambling like crazy since he wanted to shake everyone’s hand.”
Thanks for the story Marlaine. It’s good to hear our new president has a relationship with God that he looks to for guidance in this most difficult new job he has taken on.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.