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Ten local churches collaborate on Real Christmas 2023 in Waterloo

This year’s Real Christmas will be December 2 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Recreation Center located at 3 Oak Street in Waterloo. The concert program will begin at 4:30.

The event will happen in different avenues including three children’s contests. Christmas tree and wreath decoration contest, Christmas cards to be sent from the community with the help of local businesses, involvement of ten area churches, plaques presented to public, the annual memorial and honor card in Lafayette Park, honoring teachers in public and Christian schools, and the Real Christmas’ program with a Christmas choir directed by Becky Pezzulo along with children from St. Francis-St. Clare Parish. Also, prizes and prize winners to be announced and a prayerful closing with lighted candles.

Children’s Contests are open to children of different ages from 3-13 years old with gift card prizes donated by Walmart. A coloring contest will be for children in PK -2nd grade with two winners of prizes of $10.00 each. Copies to color can be found at Cicinno’s, Hidden Treasures or Valley Pharmacy businesses located in downtown Waterloo with rules on the back. Two essay contests will be for students in Grades 3-5 with prizes of $20 and $15 plus Grades 6-8 with $30 and $25 prizes of gift certificates. Grades 3-5 essays need to be 50 words or more with the theme being “Why is Christmas a religious holiday and how does your family celebrate it?” Grades 6-8 essays need to be 75 words or more with the theme being “How does Christmas bring family joy, religious joy and an inner joy of life and peace?” All essays must be handwritten or typed on a computer; have a neat and clean appearance using proper grammar and spelling; Name, grade level and phone number must be at the end or on the back of the essay. All entries need to be sent with a self-addressed envelope postmarked by November 27 and mailed to Mrs. K. Peters, 36 Indian Hills Drive, Waterloo NY 13165. For more information call 315-539-8006 or email [email protected] .

Christmas and Wreath Decoration Contests give local businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals the opportunity to participate in these competitions. The wreath competition is a new addition to this year’s Real Christmas. First and second cash prizes will be given with the Christmas Tree Contest winning $200 and $100 respectively, while the Wreath Contest will win $100 and $50. Both contests will be judged on their portrayal of the true meaning of Christmas; recall and remember the origin of Christmas based on the biblical account; and promote the spirit of Christmas based on biblical teachings. Trees and wreathes can include audible and visual elements plus traditional symbols. Creativity and craftsmanship will also be judged. Trees can illustrate virtues such as love, joy, peace, kindness and goodness toward others. Contestants are invited to set up their decorated artificial trees or wreathes on Friday, December 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or early Saturday morning at the Rec Center. Electricity will be provided but each contestant must bring a commercial extension cord if needed for their display. When setting up a tabletop tree, contestants must bring their own table which also can be decorated. The title of the tree must be displayed on a poster in front of the tree. Rubrics will be used to judge both contests. Trees must be picked up between 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday or 9:00 a.m. to noon on Sunday. For more information, contact Bonnie Burlew at 315-350 -0180.

Honoring Public and Christian School teachers with a plaque being presented during the program to schools in Waterloo including the Middle School, High School. Skoi Yase and Lafayette as well as Christian schools, Calvary Christian and Seneca Baptist. Letters are being encouraged about a teacher who has affected the life of child/ren. Children also have these stories. Written recognition letters will be forwarded to those teachers and/or their families if retired or deceased. Nancy Gray, Real Christmas Chair and retired public-school teacher, explains, “The Committee has always honored individuals or groups throughout their 25 years of celebrating The Real Christmas in the village of Waterloo. The Committee chose to honor teachers this year, as we feel in these past Covid days, they are the ones who deal with many burdens of today’s society. They do their best for our children through every school day.” Teacher stories need to be mailed by November 27 to Nancy Gray, 971 Waterloo Geneva Road, Waterloo, NY 13165. For more information contact Gray at 315-220-8187 or email [email protected] .

The Real Christmas Memorial/Honor Card will again be in Lafayette Park. Time has lapsed for names to be submitted to honor or remember those we love. 

Christmas Cards to Waterloo Nursing Homes will be offered at area businesses or by calling Laurel Callahan at 315-539-2487. Area businesses will have cards and first names of residents so personal messages can be written and later be hand delivered.

Churches involved in this year’s event are Calvary Chapel of Seneca Falls, Calvary Lutheran, Harvest Hills, Seneca Bible Baptist, Spirit of Grace Fellowship, St. Francis-St. Clare Parish, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Waterloo Baptist, Waterloo United Methodist and Waterloo First Presbyterian.

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