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You can learn so much from reading all the stories in the Star Eagle.

It was fun to read about Dick Herfindahl’s Thanksgiving memories this past week when the whole clan got together for the holidays. And yes, it was usually at the house of the same people each year, probably because it was the home place, and the largest — though that really didn’t matter because the self-declared hostess started it and felt she should keep on.

My Grandma Hanson always had the Christensen side of the family and we could be quite a bunch back then. Jim and Maryalice Hanson provide that yearly get-together now for the family at Thanksgiving time.

Isn’t it strange now that we have to plan holidays on an every-other-year schedule and then may still have problems getting everyone together? Has life really gotten so busy? Plus the weekends are filled with church and school events.  takes a daily schedule written out to remember where we need to be or can be and at what time.

I say “time” because sometimes events and such involve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and then maybe we still can’t make them all.

As we moan and groan from overeating because we want to taste everything, do we take time to think about those who don’t fare so well in the food quantity supply — or quality of life?

I had to giggle at the thought of Mark Bernard’s sheep making “pigs” of themselves over the pumpkins and squash they were able to enjoy. They are almost like people! At least they know what is good for them – right down to the seeds!

For our family, there is always room for lefse. Not many people make this special item anymore, which came from their family heritage. Barb Mrotz in our family does a terrific job in that department, and of course that great Hope Butter only makes it better. Victor is always more than generous in supplying some butter as gifts and for fundraising events. Needless to say, nobody ever turns him down to the offer. You won’t have a lot of competition in the value. What could be better?

I remember a time when kids were disappointed to receive that green stuff that spelled “money” for a gift. Now, surprisingly, the older kids respond fast when asked what they want for Christmas— a comfort to relatives who want to give something the kids can use but don’t know exactly what they are dreaming of!

There still is a joy in unwrapping gifts, however many may look for something “little” to give along with the gift of money. Some little things really do mean more than “big” things.

One item that costs nothing but gives much are the “flip tops” from beverage cans saved for The Ronald McDonald House, coupons from baking products or from bags of milk and such are given to the schools.

Another free-for-the-taking gift in the morning is a daily kiss or “I Love You.” Or someone who asks, “How was your day?” before they retire for the night. Silence in conversation makes one feel unworthy, so talk! Is there any gift as important as the feeling of worth?

For a money gift, do the “Penny Challenge.” Day 1 – one penny, Day 2, - two pennies. By day 100 it amounts to quite a bit, and by the end of the year, you will have $667.95 and it will seem like you have spent “0” throughout the year.  That’s a lot of gift for a penny!

My Grandma Hanson never bought anything she didn’t have cash for, except the farm, and that she was able to pay off in half the time by saving the money she earned from eggs she sold each week.

Many people are able to create nice gifts if they knit, crochet or sew. Norrine Jensen makes special things from her flower garden. She gets the beauty of the flowers she loves, then she takes pictures of them, and then she makes beautiful cards or notes using the pictures and sends them to her family and friends. Just think how many gifts she gave, including herself! 

Look around you and try to think of all the things/gifts we have to be thankful for! It is so easy to forget the blessings we have been given. It is also easy to overlook those truly needy of friendship and quality time. It is hard to believe that in our country, and even in our immediate area, there are people who need sharing – not just food!

For some, pride keeps them from sharing what may be given to them, but they are really waiting for a feeling of warmth, which is what they really need — a greeting, a note of hello.

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate — Albert Schweitzer  

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Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented that they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements.  In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us.

Also, if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.

If you have birthdays and anniversaries you would like to include, or news to share, please contact me via  e-mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by postal mail, P.O. Box 192, Geneva, MN 56035; or telephone, 507-256-4405.

Birthdays and anniversaries:

• Thursday, December 8th: Jason Berg, Kathy Glynn, Teri McDonald, Jeff Schei, Tracy Haddy, James Olsen, Mike Flugum, Meghan Baumann

• Friday, December 9th: Eva Buendorf, 2012; Carrisa Christensen, Paitan Janis Glynn, Bob Robertson, Rusty Besco, Mark Ribbe, Tony Phillips, Courtney Thompson, Brian Strand, Chuck & Cynthia Crabtree, Steve & Terri Engel

• Saturday, December 10th: Cody Dobberstein, Steve Lee, Valarie Otterson, Karla Osmundson, Art DeNeui, Philip Olsen, Scott & Melonie Crabtree

• Sunday, December 11th: Jane Nordhorn Allen, Justin Hove, Geoffrey Ramaker, Marty Shultz, Rick Johnson, Janice Paulsen, Beth Scripture Klucksen, Jake Thompson, Theresa Van Ravenhorst, Larry & Emily Otto

• Monday, December 12th: Torie Richards, Jean Groth, Addison Gayle Lyman, Bernard Falksen, Matthew Butler, Barbara Lageson, Judith Johnson Tetzloff, Kim Seath, Christopher Nelson, Mark & Cheryl Johnson

• Tuesday, December 13th:  Deb Bunn, Dan Carroll, Jake Pence, Eleanor Koster, Spencer Wayne, Maks Robert Edward Hanson, Michael Kelly, Mike & Michelle Peterson, Candy & Darian Baker

• Wednesday, December 14th:  Makenna Marie Smith, Alexander Jayce Quimby, Keith Bengston, Randy Lehmberg, Elizabeth Falksen Brockoff, Michard Conroy, Wayne Reese, Tina VanRiper, Catherine Lageson, Jim Ladlie, Rich Krikava and Daryl & Peggy Radjenovich 

• Thursday, December 15th:  Josh Otto, Jolene Sorenson, Brenda Burshem, Dustin Quimby, Maureen Bailey, Nancy Kelly, Travis Reichl

• Friday, December 16th: Abraham Groth, Angie Deml, Karen Zicafoose, David Brandt, Vicky Dobberstein, M. Carol Nelson,  Peggy Radjenovich and Paul & Mary Groth

It is your special day.  Take a break and celebrate.  Surprise somebody.  Call someone.  Send a card and make their day.  Little things really do mean a lot.

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