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Northern Elementary students enjoy card party

The card ladies in the back row are, from left, Bev Hartzberg, Ann Daley, Mandy Goplin, Bonnie Munz and Jan Collette. In the foreground are student in Paul Daman's Northern Elementary School fourth-grade class.

It was 1 p.m. Dec. 9. If this were just any other school day Mr. Daman's fourth grade class would be "power writing;" however, today would be different.

Instead, the boys and girls collaborated with the Paul Bunyan Senior Activity Center card ladies and to learn how to create Christmas cards in one easy lesson.

Each student received the necessary card-making supplies, and with a few initial instructions from Jan Collette, they were ready. With no further direction other than Jan saying, "If you need help raise your hand,"the class got right to work.

The card ladies encouraged the students be creative and suggested ways to make their cards attractive. The card ladies had special scissors, which they use to make fancy edges on their cards. These scalloped edges give the cards a finishing touch of class. Needless to say, the students found this cool cutting tool fascinating and anxiously waited their turn to try it out.

So it was one festive card making afternoon, I'll tell you! And although Mr. Daman is always a good sport when it comes to networking with seniors, it looked to me as if he was really getting into it this time.

He played some Christmas music, and I am pretty sure I saw him making a card, (I think maybe for his mother).

Anyway, about 2 p.m., Mr. Daman said we'd better wind things up, clean up the place and get ready for chorus practice.

The card ladies were impressed with the students and proud of them for being so creative. In one hour, each student transformed at least two old recycled cards into special new greeting cards which they would then send to some special people in their lives.

Late shopping

I stood at the senior gift wrap center at the Paul Bunyan Mall about to take my turn at wrapping.

Business was brisk, and I thought to myself, "10 a.m. Dec. 24 - kind of getting down to the wire for Christmas shopping, isn't it?"

It turns out that those last-minute shoppers are pretty nice people, and many of them very generous when it comes to using our gift wrapping service. They are a lot of fun and easy to deal with. Tristan Bjerke and his sister Jessica are two of those people. Their parents had dropped them off at the mall so they could do their Christmas shopping. Tristan had a gift in hand ready to be wrapped, so he asked one of the ladies what the cost would be.

"Oh, I think $2 will take care of it", said she.

That sounded OK to Tristan, and the wrapping began.

I said, "How nice of you to use our gift wrapping service.

His reply, "I like to patronize the seniors. Besides that, I sure don't want my Mom to see what I bought her. So I knew I had to have her gift wrapped before I brought it home."

Well, we had quite a conversation. It ended by my saying, "Thanks so much for talking to me."

"I really enjoyed all the questions," he said.

And by the way he paid for the wrapping job with a five and told the ladies to keep the change.

Lending a hand

When gift wrapping time rolls around the Thrifty White faithful are the first volunteers to sign up. According to Sarah Kiefer TW employees have been volunteering to help with this important fund raising project for at least 14 years. And the interest and willingness to help continued this year with six women volunteering. They worked several evening shifts, and that was great because we seniors do not like night driving.

"We like everything about it. It's a nice change from our day job. There is no stress. We like being with people, and we enjoy visiting with them and wrapping their gifts nicely," said Dee Ann Wintersteen.

She said her favorite thing is wrapping gifts for young people.

"There is just something special about helping children," she said.

This year Dee Ann invited her nieces to join in the wrapping, and they enjoyed it as much as she does.

Ann Daley is a Paul Bunyan Senior Activity Center volunteer.