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‘Tis the season, no matter your reason

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By June Roberta

This following week is a very big one for all kinds of celebrations. It is evidence of the diversity of human beliefs.

On Dec. 21 winter begins. It’s the year’s shortest day and longest night. It’s called the Winter Solstice.

Hanukkah this year starts Dec. 22. It’s also called the Festival of Lights. This eight-day Jewish holiday marks the rededication of the Second Temple.

Christmas on Dec. 25 commemorates the birth of Jesus. There is much gift-giving, food, and time with family and friends.

Kwanzaa is celebrated this year from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, 2009. This weeklong festival celebrates African-American culture, family and community.

On Dec. 8, or on the Sunday immediately preceding, Buddhists celebrated Bodhi Day. It recalls the day in 596 B.C.E. when the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

Whichever holiday you observe, may it be full of good cheer, peace, and contentment.

New Year’s Dance

The Dance Committee is hosting a semi-formal New Year’s Eve dance Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the H and R ballroom. Brad Turk and his 5-piece band will provide the music.

Party favors, snack trays, a singles table, and coffee and donuts after midnight. There will be a cash bar in the Pub, no coolers allowed. Cost is $18 per person or $35 per couple.

Ticket sales are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the H and R ballroom from at 8 to 10 a.m. until sold out. For all OTOW residents and their overnight guests. No refunds. For more information, call Gordy Phillips at 854-7981.

Travel Toppers

It was a perfect day for the 56 OTOW residents who went to Orlando with the Travel Toppers. The first stop was the Hyatt Grand Cypress for supper.

Travelers finished their meals with eggnog cheesecake or holiday yule log but there was plenty of walking ahead to work off dessert. The bus tour included stops at Disney hotels Beach Club, Yacht Club, Wilderness Club and Grand Floridian to explore holiday displays of lights and Christmas trees inside and out.

Submitted by Mike Roppel.

Ballroom Dance Club

The OTOW Ballroom Dance Club has announced classes in the OTOW Health and Recreation ballroom from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on the last three Thursdays of each month, beginning Jan. 15, 2009. Cost is $20 per month.

The featured dance for January will be the waltz. A dance, hosted by instructor Trish Sands, will follow the class, and cost is $5 members, $6 non-members.

The class is not necessary to attend the dance. For more information, call Joe Furfaro at 237-6900 or Janet Juhlin at 854-0708.

Till next week – let’s live in the moment, letting the future take care of itself.

June Roberta is retired and lives in OTOW. She enjoyed a diverse career, including being a legal secretary to a theatrical attorney on Madison Avenue. Call her at 237-9208, or e-mail OTOW news to her at jroberta@cfl.rr.com. Deadline is a week prior to Friday’s publication.