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Spending Christmas Day together: Local couple makes sure no one is alone

Over ten years ago, one local couple started a tradition — a community Christmas dinner. Linda Noonan and her husband Les have been hosting a community Christmas dinner at First English Lutheran Church since 2004. Linda recalled how the tradition started.

“With a blended family like ours, we have always done our Christmas at another time. I want the kids to have their own traditions,” she explained.

For a time Les and Linda spent Christmas day with Les’ mom and a close friend, Mr. T, but when they passed away and the kids were out of the house, Linda said, “we thought, what can we do on Christmas day?”

So the idea of a community Christmas dinner was born. Linda said that First English Lutheran Church Pastor Hugh Brewer and his wife Cindy have always helped, as well as the Brewer kids and Linda’s own.

The dinner is open to anyone who would like to attend. Announcements are put in area church bulletins. Although you don’t need to sign up, you can do so at the church or at Valley Exchange Bank and Great Western Bank in Lennox.

The meal is planned for Christmas Day at noon. Linda said, “A lot of fellowship takes place.”

It’s not only a delicious meal, it’s a fun afternoon. Linda said along with the dinner, they enjoy playing games like card bingo. In this game each person is dealt five cards and the caller, calls out a card, the player who has it, drops their card and when all of your cards are gone — it’s bingo. Linda said she usually gets little items from the dollar store to use as prizes.

She and Les spend Christmas Eve preparing the meat and potatoes for the Christmas Dinner, she said it is usually about 20 to 30 pounds of potatoes that they mash for the crowd of 70-80 people who attend the dinner.

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