Christmas


VICTORY BAPTIST CHURCH in Vergennes has seen 80 COVID cases since Christmas. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES  — After Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine singled out a Vergennes church as the source of 80 recent COVID-19 cases, the pastor of Victory Baptist Church on Route 7 says that his parishioners were following federal safety guidelines during the spread of the disease that apparently occurred at Christmas services. “Our congregations want to do live services, so we follow CDC guidelines,” the Rev. Tim Taylor told the Independent. During the start of the pandemic Victory Baptist held services only online in March, April and May, in accordance with state mandates, Taylor said....
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott announced at the beginning of his weekly Tuesday press briefing the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in Vermont. He announced three central changes: •  “A small, short-term modification in our gathering policy.” Scott said each family will be allowed to gather with members of “one other trusted household” between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. That household must be from Vermont, or travel restrictions including mandatory quarantines and testing will apply. Scott said those households with members older than 65, with pre-existing conditions, or who work in health care,...
This Christmas, look for silver linings. Nine months into this pandemic, for instance, we have fine-tuned the art of looking at bleakness and coming up with ways to smile. We’ve turned panic of the unknown into a calm resignation of semi-isolation. We are learning how to infuse those longer stretches of isolation — particularly from family and close friends — with outdoor activities, masked up and social distanced, accepting close proximity in abeyance of hugs. We gladly accept bike rides, runs, hiking in the woods with friends instead of a beer-laden barbecue in a neighbor’s backyard....
I started my holiday vacation — by which I mean “not working” as opposed to “traveling” — a week ago. I’ve already lost track of what day it is, a sensation I don’t usually feel until the no-man’s-land between Christmas and New Year’s. Then again, this entire year has upended my sense of time. Normally, Mark and I would have held our annual Christmas shindig last weekend. While we lean antisocial, the Christmas party is a celebration we look forward to every year. Many friends and family members we haven’t seen since summer drop in (and as hosts, we don’t have to drive home in the cold). In...

SEVERAL LOCAL VETERANS’ and service organizations received an unexpected donations from the Middlebury American Legion this November, including, clockwise from top left, Ron LaRose, State Commander of the American Legion. Photo courtesy of Tom Scanlon
MIDDLEBURY — Christmas came early to a few Veterans’ and service organizations as well as to local civic clubs due to the generosity of Middlebury American Legion Post 27. At their last regular meeting in October the membership unanimously voted to help various organizations and causes that have been adversely impacted financially by the current Covid-19 pandemic. The awards totaled $7,750. Checks in the amount of $1,000 were given to: American Legion Department Commander Ron LaRose for his project assisting the two Vermont Boy Scout camps; The Veteran’s Place in Northfield; The Dodge House,...
When it comes to Christmas, my husband Mark always wins. He’s just a more thoughtful gift giver than I am. I hate that. I wanted Christmas 2019 to be different. I decided I would paint Mark a scene taken from a photo of our backyard: the old horse barn, at dusk, partly obscured by a stand of black locust trees. The beauty of my art would outdo anything he might give me. Too bad I don’t know how to paint. Well, that’s not true. Last year, though unskilled, I painted a landscape scene of a field not far from our house. And it came out well. I assumed this meant I possessed innate artistic...
Editor’s note: An editorial about the credibility of Santa Claus appeared more than 100 years ago in The New York Sun. It was written by Francis Pharcellus Church, an assistant to the paper’s editor. A true Christmas classic, it has outlived its writer, the recipient, and the newspaper that gave it life. Its most famous phrases are often recalled and sometimes parodied. Here we reprint the famous letter and response, partly in the hopes that parents will take the time to read it aloud to children of appropriate ages and for all to reflect on the less commercial aspects of this holiday season...
MIDDLEBURY — In what has become an annual tradition, a group of local volunteers will host a free dinner for area residents on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25. The dinner will be held at 4 p.m. in the dining area of the Middlebury Commons, across from the Memorial Sports Center on Buttolph Drive.  All are welcome for a free turkey dinner and holiday fellowship. The dinner is free, but organizers ask that people bring a smile to share. Reservations are encouraged and arrangements can be made for those needing transportation. Anyone wishing to attend and to make transportation arrangements...

MARION SULLIVAN'S CHRISTMAS sandwich cookies
ADDISON COUNTY — This past Saturday, the annual line began to form outside of the Champlain Valley Christian Reformed Church in Vergennes. What for? Why the cookie sale of course. This was the 25th year that the Champlain Valley Christian School put on this fundraiser. All cookies are homemade by families and friends including Julia Gosliga of Addison and Marion Sullivan of Vergennes — you’ll find their recipes below. MARION SULLIVAN, VERGENNES CHRISTMAS SANDWICH COOKIES “I have made these raspberry-filled shortbread cookies for years to sell at the Christmas Cookie Sale at the Christian...
STARKSBORO — The annual Starksboro Village Meeting House Christmas Candlelight service this year will be held on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The program of lessons and carols will be led by the Rev. John Burbank. All are welcome. If you enjoy singing holiday carols, this one is for you. Lois Burbank will play the piano, and Joanne Russell will provide a special holiday solo. This nondenominational service has been held for nearly 60 years and many families treasure it as a holiday tradition. This year the sanctuary walls will be repaired and looking their best in many decades. Afterward the...

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Addison County Independent