By Kathy Monnin
Having received a few Christmas cards after Thanksgiving I realize we are officially in the Christmas season. Secularly the holiday season in the United States runs from late November (Black Friday) to early January. Which falls in line with many Christian Churches, since Advent began Sunday, Nov. 27.
Advent commences the fourth Sunday before Christmas and is a period of spiritual preparation for the birth of Jesus. Advent is a season of anticipation, preparation, prayer, penance, and hope culminating into the joy of Jesus’ birth.
The Church regards Christmas as an octave, celebrated from the 25th until January 1st. The feasts of St. Stephen and the Holy Innocents occurs within this octave. However, the Christmas liturgical season continues until Jan. 8, 2023, which is the feast of the baptism of Jesus. This is why you sometimes hear people reference the twelve days of Christmas
A quick conversation with Danielle (Dunlap) Luthman, postmaster of Versailles, over Russia, Osgood, North Star and Yorkshire, affirmed that the mail load picks up for the Christmas season right after Veterans Day and by the week of Thanksgiving the post office is deep in Christmas packages and mail. The Versailles Post Office delivers between 1500 and 2000 packages each day, which is part of the 8-9 skids received daily from Amazon.
Danielle is a graduate of Russia Schools and began her career in the post office in 1993 first as a clerk in Sidney. Transferring to larger offices, to obtain experience, all the while being promoted, she went to Dayton, Covington, again to Sidney, Laura and finally landed the Versailles postmaster position, following the retirement of Steve Monnin in 2011.
The Versailles Post Office has been the home of familiar faces for countless years, but eventually all things change. Following in the spirit of longevity Danielle has already served over ten years as our present postmaster. Reminiscing from the 1990’s to date, most of us remember former clerk Wanda Billenstein. Also retired are Carol Myers, Dan Streib, Tom Watren, Linda Brand and Diane Kunk. Meanwhile, Gary Pierron is clerk in Russia, Stephanie Grogean is in Rossburg, and Larry Simons is clerk in Lewisburg.
Courtney Malone of Fort Loramie is the city one carrier and Steven Smith a veteran from Greenville and Bethany Hoelscher of Bradford share the city two route. The rural carriers are Roger Grilliot of Versailles (route #1), Jen Evans of Bradford (route #2), Nancy Grieshop of Versailles (route #3), Brittany (Bruns) Dirksen of Frenchtown delivers Yorkshire and part of Russia, and Rose Schlater of Versailles delivers the Russia rural route. The four rural subs are Elli Heitkamp, Mirca Hernandez, Jennifer Taylor, and Karen Holsapple all from Versailles/Yorkshire area except Hernandez.
These postal employees will be working hard this holiday season to deliver all the packages, presents and cards to and from us.
I will be adding to their workload because I still enjoy sending Christmas cards to friends and family. And I look forward to the Christmas newsletters and personalized portrait cards, (that I once thought was a bit egotistical) because I now realize the senders are simply attempting to stay in touch in their individualized manner.
Since Jesus is the reason for the season and Christ makes it Christmas, I like to send out Christmas cards from religious organizations. These institutions offer prayers for the intentions of all those on my Christmas card list. Therefore, my friends and family are worth the cost of a 60-cent stamp (in addition to my donation for the prayer intentions).
Yep, in case you did not know, stamps are now 60 cents. If that seems expensive you had better get them now because they will be increasing to 63 cents on Jan. 22. You can buy now and save later because forever stamps are good no matter what the current price of a postage stamp is. For instance, you can still mail a letter with a forever stamp from 2007, (when the forever stamps were first issued) even though it would have only cost you 41 cents!
So much has changed since the post office implemented the hub and spoke system and a simplified network for sorting and delivery. The postal automation system has grown increasingly sophisticated with most letters being sorted in Columbus, parcels in Cincinnati and some mail is still handled in Dayton. The United States Postal Service (USPS) also has many online services available at www.usps.com, such as informed delivery. With Informed delivery you can see photos of your mail, by email, before it arrives, free. You can also track and manage your packages. This is an excellent feature if you believe you are not receiving all your mail, as was the case for me. Someone was occasionally removing mail from my mailbox, placing it in a plastic bag and tying it to my front door.
“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality.” ~Washington Irving
“The real gifts of the season are the people we love, the times and traditions we share, and the happy memories we make together.” ~Unknown
“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Friday, Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., “A Dicken’s Christmas Carol” will be performed for the final time at the Versailles Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 at the door or order online.
Friday, Dec. 2, 1–1:45 p.m., Silver Sneakers Classic Workout and 2–2:45 p.m., Silver Sneakers Chair Yoga at the Versailles YMCA. (This is a 3-week session that ends the week of Dec. 19)
Friday, Dec. 2, 4–6:30 p.m., Fish Fry at the Ansonia American Legion. Dine in or carry out. (They do a great job with their meals; I get there every chance I can.)
Friday & Saturday, Dec. 2 & 3, 7 p.m., Karaoke in the Bunker at the Versailles Vets Club. Open to the public.
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 & 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Woodsview Alpaca, 12144 Reed Road, Versailles is having a Christmas Open House.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., breakfast at the K of C Hall, Versailles. This benefits the Versailles Council of Churches food pantry. Free will donation. There will be sausage, ham, eggs, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m., Singo in the Bunker (downstairs) at the Versailles Vets Club. Open to the public.
Monday, Dec. 5, Christmas Band Concert, 7 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center (HS theater). Donations appreciated.
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 9–10:30 a.m., (Widow/Widowers) Breakfast at the Wooden Spoon.
Friday, Dec. 9, 6–8 p.m., Christmas Open House at the Versailles Museum.
Saturday, Dec. 10, 8–11 p.m., Singles Dance at the Greenville VFW with a $10 cover charge. The band will be Back Stage Pass. Doors open at 6 p.m. and free Christmas appreciation food.
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 3, 5 & 7 p.m., Christmas Laser Light Show at BMI Event Center. Free admission. Donations appreciated.
Did you know?
Bruns Highway Harvest, 11291 State Route 47, Versailles, began selling fresh trees, and other Christmas decorations. They’ll be open Monday – Saturday 8 – 8 and Sunday 9 -6.
Happy birthday wishes to Jim Lawrence (88), Bob Bensman, Connie Grilliot, Julia Kremer, Jeff Peters, Randy Garrison, Debbie Francis, Marilyn Pohlman, Kara Warren, Melinda Gray, Andrea Hoying, Johnny King, Jennifer Cheeseman, Deb Blakeley, Kimberly Ware, Linda Kinninger, Phyllis Thobe, Steve Simmons, Bill Nelson, Steve Smith, Dawn Luthman, Peggy Jasenski, Toni Thorne, Jackie Swabb, as their birthdays approach as well as, anniversary wishes to Amy and Bryan Bartram (18), Jennifer and Bruce Feltz (30), Carolyn and Don Waymire (54), and all couples celebrating anniversaries.
Please keep in your prayers Mary Ann Caldwell (74), Treva Albers (78), Donald Schmitmeyer (88), and all those who have passed, including those whose anniversary of their passing is near. Please give your prayers of comfort and healing for the sick and suffering, for those who struggle, the caregivers and those who mourn the loss of their loved ones. It might get easier, but the pain never goes completely away.
As an act of kindness, thank the people who provide you with your services. There are so many services we take for granted as “doing their job.” But everyone needs a bit of kindness and encouragement from time to time. It’s amazing how a thank you can brighten one’s outlook. Try it out to see if it doesn’t make you both feel better.
Some of the services we receive come from the mail and newspaper carrier, grocer, church ushers, reverends and pastors, hairstylist, nail technician, teachers, fitness instructors, bible study teachers, school officials, trustees, the mayor, concerned citizens, volunteers, bus drivers, house cleaners, babysitters, librarians, delivery people, doctors, nurses, tax preparers, insurance agents and adjusters, bank tellers, auto mechanics, sales clerks and merchants, police, rescue, and firefighters. You might consider including your parents, boss, spouse, military personnel, children, helpful neighbors and co-workers.