One of the rites of those experiencing parenthood is attending your child's school's winter concert -- a definite "gotta go" if you have a budding singer, actor or musician.
Memories of mumbled lines and off-key notes from the past quickly fade when you gaze into those bright faces so eager to entertain.
Many schools in the area had their concerts this past week. Whether you attended a fun-loving elementary school program, a sophisticated middle school production or polished high school offering, each concert was preceded by hours of hard work.
To all those entertaining students and their patient teachers, congratulations on a job well done and thanks for the memories.
The spirit of caring and sharing is alive and well-practiced, if one can judge by the number of groups bringing Christmas cheer to some of our less fortunate and forgotten neighbors.
A large contingent of pupils, parents and teachers from George Fox Middle School and Junior Girl Scout Troop No. 1242 shared their Christmas spirit with residents of Maryland Manor recently.
Several departments at the school combined efforts to provide a Sunday afternoon of good cheer. Youngsters in Steve Sweet's and Joanne Howard's art classes made tissue-paper flowers, ornaments and matted art work that were given to patients unable to join in the festivities. Barbara Corak's home-economics pupils made bedspreads, baked pumpkin bread and a tray of cookies. They also wrapped the gifts for each patient. Handmade sock dolls, donated by Jane Moberg's science class, were a sought-after gift.
The patients were treated to Christmas carols, a display of physical feats by the George Fox Cheerleaders and several songs performed by teacher Pam Swagerty and school secretary Bonnie Sommers.
"We had a wonderful time," PTA President Carlene Heilman said. "We were very proud of all of the students that went with us. They brought a lot of love with them and were just great with the patients."
Girl Scout leader Jacquelyn Carter and members of Junior Troop No. 238 brought Christmas cheer to patients at Meridan Nursing Home on Truckhouse Road recently. They entertained the patients with carols and homemade cookies. Ornaments, lovingly created by the girls, were given.
The troop will be joining with other troops in the Pasadena cluster to provide a needy family with gifts of clothing, toys and food.
Bodkin Elementary students have been collecting items that will be donated to Sarah's House, the emergency shelter for homeless adults and families. Collected were such basics as soap, washclothes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, coloring books, crayons and pencils.
Each grade was assigned a specific item to donate. In addition, the school collected such snack items as boxed juice drinks and packaged peanut butter or cheese crackers.
Additional donations are still being accepted. Call the school at 437-0464 for more details.
The Human Relations Committee at Lake Shore School is sponsoring a local family who recently lost their home and belongings in a fire.
Gift items suggested by school counselor Jane Timbers are household items, toys and games, books, toiletries, bedding, clothing and canned goods.
The family includes four children, three boys ages 11, 12 and 13 and a girl, age 12.
Holiday collection boxes have been placed throughout the school for small items. Residents interested in donating larger items should call 255-5920.
A Pasadena Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas Train Garden Display at the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Co., will open tomorrow.
The dedicated volunteers who work on the display have invested hundreds of man-hours, and their handiwork continues to delight visitors of all ages.
The display will open from 1 to 3 and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 7 to 9 p.m. weekdays through Jan. 6.
Admission is free, but donations are requested.
Parking is available in the lot behind the fire station on Fort Smallwood Road.
For more information, call the fire station at 255-1314 or 255-3636.
A sleigh filled with prizes and breakfast fixings has been sighted on Mountain Road this week, near the Lake Shore Fire Station. Those in the know have whispered that Santa will be arriving Sunday to help the volunteers prepare for Breakfast with Santa, to be served from 9 a.m. to noon.
A little elf has assured me that the menu will feature something for the entire family. Pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, doughnuts and homemade bread will be served with orange juice, milk, coffee and tea.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children ages 3 to 12. Youngsters under 3 will be served without charge.
Children can participate in such games as reindeer relay, snowball toss and stuff the stocking after finishing breakfast. The games will begin at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded.
Pictures taken with Santa can be purchased for $2.
Tickets will be sold at the door.