What would Christmas be without the mad rush to shop for gifts, wrap them in time for Sunday morning or in some cases hope we mailed them to our loved ones early enough so they arrive on time?
As we are surrounded by tangible gifts, let us not forget the gift of love, the gift of peace and the gift of happiness we can share with one another during this holy season.
Local churches are offering the opportunity for us to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas and have announced their schedule of religious services.
* Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church, 200 School Lane: Christmas Eve services include a 7 p.m. family service, a 10:30 p.m. service with carols and an 11 p.m. candlelight service. A worship service will be held at 10 a.m. Christmas Day. Sunday school will not be held, but a video for children will be shown in Room 103.
* St. John Lutheran Church, 300 West Maple Road: An 11 a.m. Christmas Eve service of carols and Communion has been scheduled for those unable to worship at night. A Christmas Eve service especially for children and families will take place at 5 p.m. The carols and reading and the sacrament of Holy Communion will be shared by all at the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Christmas Eve services. The Christmas Eve festival service begins at 11 p.m. Brass accompaniment to the singing of carols and Holy Communion will be celebrated. There will be a 10 a.m. service on Christmas morning.
* Friendship Church Of The Brethren, 217 Mansion Road: A candlelight service will take place at 11 p.m. Christmas Eve. The service will focus on Christmas carols and customs from around the world.
* St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, 6405 Orchard Road: Christmas Eve Masses will be celebrated at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight. Christmas Day Masses will follow the regular Sunday schedule: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
* Church of Christ, 2 Eastern St. in Fernglen Manor: A Bible study will be held at 10 a.m. and worship services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Christmas Day.
* Linthicum Baptist Church, 611 S. Camp Meade Road: A Christmas Eve service is scheduled at 7 p.m. and Christmas Day service at 11 a.m..
* Fellowship Baptist Church of Ferndale, 1017 Sundown Road: A family service, featuring a choir medley, will be held at 9 a.m. Christmas Day.
* Ferndale United Methodist Church, 117 Ferndale Road: The Christmas Eve schedule includes a 6:30 p.m. family service titled, "This Shall Be a Sign to You" and an 11 p.m. candlelight and Communion service called "This Night." Sunday school will not be held Christmas Day. Worship will take place at 10:30 a.m., with a sermon titled, "I Believe in Santa's Cause."
* St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 118 Marydel Road: A Eucharist service and pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, with a party for the Sunday school afterward. An 11 p.m. Eucharist service also is scheduled. The worship service on Christmas Day will take place at 10 a.m.
* Peace Lutheran Church, 416 Wellham Ave.: On Christmas Eve, there will be candlelight services at 5:30 a.m. for children and their families, a 7:30 p.m. contemporary service and an 11 p.m. traditional service. A 10 a.m. carol service will take place on Christmas Day.
The recent Christmas luncheon for Chapter 2244 of the American Association of Retired Persons focused on community service and the spirit of volunteerism.
Frank Grunder, community service chairman, acknowledged the efforts of chapter members with awards.
Members dressed dolls and teddy bears and filled stockings for the Salvation Army. They also took turns ringing bells at the shopping malls and worked at the Salvation Army toy shop.
The AARP Linthicum Chapter 2244 meets the first Thursday of each month at 1 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church. Refreshments are served from noon to 1 p.m. Anyone is welcome to come and join.
The knitting guild, A Close Knit Group, will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., tomorrow at the Linthicum Library.
A business meeting will not be held this month, but knitters can bring any projects they want to finish for Christmas and socialize while working on them. It is hoped that the afghan project for the homeless will be completed this month.
Members are asked to bring cookies and a recipe to share.
New members and guests are welcome. For information, call Helen Holden at 837-2970.
If you would like to have news about your group or event published in Neighbors, call Rosalie Falter, 859-3569.