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Heisinger Bluffs prepares for Christmas season

by Anna Campbell | November 26, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Heising Bluffs resident Joan Petty helps untie lights for the community Christmas tree Friday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

Residents and staff at Heisinger Bluffs jumped right into Christmas on Friday, decorating the independent living dining room tree together as they listened to Christmas tunes.

Staff strung white Christmas lights on the tree while a few residents hung red and white ornaments on bits of twine.

Although Thanksgiving was just the previous day, Joan Petty was ready for the Christmas spirit.

"We just loved Christmas, and we did it the minute Thanksgiving was over," Petty reminisced about her younger years. "But not until -- nothing infringed on Thanksgiving."

"What I can remember most was going to midnight Mass at St. Peter's church," Betty Masters said. Masters had worn her "Hallmark movie-watching sweater" for the occasion, though she said she likes to watch them all year round.

Petty said she used to make ornaments --"every kind imaginable" -- to put on the tree.

"We tried hard to always keep Christ in Christmas. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have it," Petty added.

Each resident was invited to put their name on an ornament to go on the tree. While Heisinger Bluffs has decorated in the past, this was the first time that each resident's name went on an ornament on the tree.

LeRoy Deles Dernier helped tie the twine onto each ornament.

He recalled the fun of seeing his four children open presents and attending the Christmas Eve service at Wesley United Methodist Church.

The tree, which was following a red and white theme, was also adorned with huge red and white lollipops.

Lori Baumhoer, community wellness director, said a favorite tradition she and her husband observe is writing a heartfelt card to each other and hiding it somewhere on the Christmas tree instead of a gift.

The dining room tree was one of 10 trees at Heisinger Bluffs with various themes. Sewing for a Cause, a Heisinger Bluffs-based group that crafts projects for various community needs, made each of the personalized tree skirts.

The largest tree is a woodland, rustic-themed tree in the lookout lounge.

photo Arlene Stockham, LeRoy Deles Dernier, and Hugh Cook (left to right) prepare ornaments to hang on the tree at Heising Bluffs Independent Living Friday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
photo Hugh Cook and LeRoy Deles Dernier prepare ornaments for residents to hang on the Christmas tree at Heisinger Bluff Independent Living Friday. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
photo A Chrismon tree stands proudly in the chapel at Heisinger Bluffs. The ornaments were made by the Bluffs' Sewing With a Cause group. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

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