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Aquebogue-Jamesport: Christmas at Hallockville starts Dec. 5

Happy Thanksgiving!

Congratulations to the Stress family, formerly of Jamesport, for their happy move to Pennsylvania! They packed up Run About Farm on Herrick’s Lane and moved last week. Jen, Chris, Cassidy and Colton, we will miss all of you and your lovely way of life that added so much to the local community. Enjoy the holidays in your new home!

If you can steal away from the kitchen for two hours tonight, Nov. 24, Living Waters Full Gospel Church is offering a special evening of testimonies at 7 o’clock entitled “Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving.” Dessert will be included. Also at the church, Sunday, Nov. 28, from 3 to 7 p.m., there will be “A Night in Bethlehem,” a 60-minute interactive experience that brings the story of Christmas to life. Participants will be able to see, touch, feel, and smell what life was like during this miraculous time, make authentic Bible-time crafts, and share in meaningful biblical traditions and stories. Groups are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Free for the entire family. For more information on these events, call 722-4969.

Christmas at Hallockville begins Sunday, Dec. 5, from noon-4, complete with music, crafts, food and more. The Hallock Homestead will be decorated as it would have been in the Victorian era. For more details, call 298-5292 or e-mail [email protected]

Raffle tickets for a summer golf vacation or a winter ski vacation, complete with $1,000, can still be purchased! The winner will be announced at the Christmas celebration. For more details on the raffle and the celebration, call 298-5292, e-mail [email protected] or visit hallockville.com.

Thanksgiving has always been a very special time of year for our family. The memories are bittersweet, as most holidays tend to be for many families. My husband, Steve, and I started our family tradition by getting engaged on Thanksgiving. This year marks our 24th anniversary of that special day! The early Thanksgiving holidays that followed were touched by the death of family members. It seems often that with death comes new life, and so we celebrated the birth of my daughter MaryAngela, 17 years ago, on Thanksgiving, just in time for dessert! We all wish MaryAngela a special Thanksgiving birthday again this year!

Over the last 14 years, since Johanna’s birth, we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays in the pediatric ICU, in the midst of life-threatening concerns for our youngest daughter. Each year brings new challenges and new blessings and through it all we have learned to be grateful for all God’s gifts, be they wrapped in joys or sorrows. This year, let’s try to be thankful for the difficult seasons and situations, even the difficult people in our lives. A grateful heart imparts joy to the whole world. We will one day find that those struggles will become our greatest blessings.