Arcanum News: Christmas memories of Christmases past


Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society is looking for Arcanum Christmas memories including not only stories but photos of store fronts, churches, parades, etc. Specifically, they are looking for pictures of the first town square Christmas tree in 1922, the new water tower decorated for Christmas in 1935, the tree shape on the elevator in 1940, lights upstairs at Arcanum School in 1940, light poles uptown decorated in 1962, and any pictures or information about a house decorating contest started in 1952 by the Arcanum Lion’s Club.

Please contact Annette Stewart or any member of the historical society with your memories, pictures, etc. One specifically they are searching for a picture of the snow white float in 1940 that had reindeer springing over a glistening igloo pulling a sleigh with Santa Claus and a background with two symmetrical Christmas trees. The Arcanum Chronicles and The Arcanum Times have the written data about these events but there are very little pictures, the members of AWTHS would like to get all of this into a collection that we could all enjoy.

This request came all the way from Kentucky from the son of Brode Cornett – “Hello Arcanum, I would like to surprise my Dad with Christmas cards sent from students that he taught during his long career as an Industrial Arts teacher for the Arcanum Butler school system. Before his retirement he had began teaching his 3rd generation of many Arcanum families. He is now 84 and has moved into an assisted living facility after Mom’s passing. If any past students, or just old acquaintances would like to send him a Christmas card, his address is…. Brode Cornett North Fork Senior Living. 200 North Fork Drive, Suite 104 Morehead Ky, 40351. I know this would bring him Holiday Joy and be a huge surprise. Thank you to any of you who chose to send cards. Merry Christmas to each of you!” What an awesome idea – if you remember Brode, please add him to your Christmas card list and stick in a little note to say “Hello.”

The next Arcanum Alumni Association Scholarship fundraiser will be a Bar-B-Q Chicken Dinner prior to the January 19 Boys’ Varsity and JV basketball games with Mississinawa. The dinners will be prepared by Paul’s Bar-B-Q. It will consist of half of a bar-b-q chicken, applesauce, potato chips, and a dinner role. The cost will be $7.50. Dinners will be available 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. You may dine in the AHS Cafetorium, or utilize their curbside carry-out service. A limited number of tickets will be available, so buy your tickets early. Hint: they make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers! Tickets will be sold at the high school during girls’ and boys’ home basketball games during December and early January.

Lots of upcoming concerts with the music department(s) at the school – tonight at 7 p.m. is the High School Choir Christmas Concert; this Wednesday night is the Middle School Choir and High School Choir Concert at 7 p.m. Next week – Monday, December 18 at 7 p.m. is the High School Band Concert; and Tuesday, December 19 at 7 p.m. is the third and fourth grade Christmas Program. All events will be held in the cafetorium.

The season is upon us and all the lights and decorations make the town look so festive! Thank you to the Arcanum Garden Club for decorating the flower pots on each corner uptown. The lights in the park are wonderful to enjoy, if you haven’t seen them yet; be sure to drive through the park! Thank you to all the volunteers who worked to put up the lights and set up all the activities!

I believe that it is important to share memories of your favorite Christmases with your loved ones and laugh and celebrate. Here are a few things to think about…did you ever take a sleigh ride? What was your favorite Christmas program as a child—Charlie Brown, Rudolph, or perhaps another? Favorite movie? My husband and I’s is “It’s a Wonderful Life” which we have enjoyed many times through the years. Christmas music—did you have a special Christmas Album your family always listened to? (As a child, one of my favorites was “Christmas in Kilarney” on an old Lawrence Welk 33; when our kids were little it had to be “The Chipmunks.”) Did you have a real tree loaded with tinsel and lights, or an artificial tree, perhaps a silver aluminum tree with the color wheel? Did you participate in a Christmas program at school or church—what character did you play, did you sing a solo? Did Mom make you a costume? (Our daughters were angels one year at the church Christmas program when they were little, yes, I made the costumes, they were white flannel nightgowns actually!)

Did you have a snow globe? Wasn’t it glorious to watch? What was your best Christmas ever? Did you ever have a terrible Christmas? Maybe the year you peaked and found your presents? (Yes, I have to admit I did that once and it was the worst Christmas ever!) Did your family sleep in on Christmas or did you get your parents up at the crack of dawn? Why not make a Christmas memory book this year and shower your family with lots of love. Why not try an old family recipe and make it a new family tradition? (I have tried for years to make divinity from my grandmother’s recipe and for some reason it never tastes like hers!) Remember when they had outside Christmas lighting/decoration contests in town? I hear lots of families comment about the ornaments on their tree and where they all came from – recently read a suggestion that a great memory book would include photos of each of those ornaments and the story behind each one…that would be a great keepsake for you to enjoy and share for many years to come.

I would like to hear from the Arcanum area churches in order to publish my annual listing of Christmas Eve services, if you would like your church/parish’s information included please contact me via email or telephone. As I have written about in past years, this one night of the year with my family is a tradition to attend a candlelight service together to celebrate on Christmas Eve.

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” ~ Janice Maeditere

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” ~ Harlan Miller

By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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