Christmas Occasions

Love, Sue

LUTEFISK AT MOUNT OLIVET.

Itís not really in the neighborhood, but itís totally related to a church in Victoria.† Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis is the ďparent companyĒ of Mount Olivet Church-West Campus located on the eastern shores of Schutz Lake in Victoria.

And so when we attend the annual Lutefisk Feed downtown, we feel to home.† We donít have to speak Norwegian, but it helps if you love lutefisk and lefse, and Allan and I do.

We also enjoy the boiled potato with melted butter, the pickled beets, and the rice pudding drizzled with lingonberries.

A couple Victoria friends joined us this year on Friday, December 5th.† Sharen Geske, left, doesnít eat fish, period, so lutefisk was not on her plate.† However, she didnít mind the meatballs.† Although Mary Moore has German roots, and not an ounce of Norsky blood, she likes lutefisk.† Go figure.

After dinner we moved down the hall to a community room for cookies and coffee.† It was a nice winter evening in the mid Ď30ís with no snow or blowing snow.† Thank you, Mount Olivet, for your friendly welcoming spirit Ö and the lutefisk.

CHRISTMAS IN DOWNTOWN VICTORIA

It was a perfect 38-degree winter evening on Saturday, December 6th.

Santa Claus arrived in a Victoria Fire Truck at 3:00 p.m.

Dozens of families visited him at the Victoria Hall where children also participated in crafts and games.

One of the families included Brandon and Ashley Wallis and their daughters Brandon and Ashley.† Brandon and Ashley own the School of the Wise restaurant and also The Social ice cream shop.

A bonfire burned brightly in back of the Hall and then at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Tom OíConnor greeted the crowd and turned the lights on the Victoria Christmas Tree.

It was 19 days until Christmas and Victoria was ready!

Mayor OíConnor told the crowd that he would be speaking very briefly and that itís a good thing he was chosen to speak rather than Carver County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik because then the speech would most likely be very long.

Said Santa Claus, ďHo!† Ho!† Ho!Ē

Christmas in Downtown Victoria was sponsored by the Victoria Business Association.

On our way back home that evening, we enjoyed the lovely lights at the Victoria House restaurant Ö

Ö and Jan and Alís home next to our home Ö

Ö and thereís no place like home for the holidays.

ROBERT ROBINSON IN CONCERT.

It was Tuesday evening, December 9th.† We were on our way to Christmas and made plans to see Robert Robinson in concert at the St. Victoria Catholic Church.

Approximately 500 to 600 people had the same idea to bring in Christmas with Robert Robinson.

Mr. Robertson had us eating from his hands and it was delicious.† Without saying a word, he and the Spirit of the Season had the audience quietly singing Silent Night with him.

The performer knew then to invite us to sing the second verse with him and thatís when it seemed as though Christmas had come early.† His choice of traditional Christmas music for the concert also resounded with the audience.

Hi, Cherie and Chad McGraw of Victoria.† I see you, Nan Emmer, with the shiny earrings.

I had seen Robert Robinson perform over the years at Lorie Line concerts, when he had a huger personage as well as his huge talent.

It was only this past November that Mr. Robertson had a slight stroke when he was performing in Fargo.† He has since lost 50 pounds and is using a walker to get around.† His newest album is ďLullabies from the Heart.Ē

Sam Reeves was the finger virtuoso at the piano.†† I wonít call it my piano, although itís the one I play every weekend at the various weekend Masses at St. Victoria.

We loved your concert, Mr. Robert Robinson.† So glad you came.

ANNUAL CHOIR PARTY AT MY HOUSE.

About 35 years ago I started playing the organ and piano for the choir at the St. Victoria Catholic Church in Victoria.† It seemed to call for an annual Choir Christmas Party at my house, and this past Christmas 2014 was no exception.† I loved it then and I love it now.

There is a kind and gracious demeanor and camaraderie that endears everyone to me.† I took this first photo to make sure it was set it up right. After all, thatís what I do.

Then Allan, who is not a member of the Choir, took a picture that included me.† Despite conflicting schedules in the busy holiday season, many people in the mix are always able to join us.

Then Patrick Payne took a picture that included both me and Allan:†

THE ST. PAUL CATHEDRAL.

We like to visit the St. Paul Cathedral in downtown St. Paul at Christmas time and so there we were again on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014.† Itís a spur of the moment thing without a lot of planning.† You really canít put into words what you feel and find at the Cathedral.