• Bill Raines

Christmas Village a Thirty-Year Tradition at the Saunders Home

Lawrence County Zephyr

By: Bill Raines

SILVERVILLE - (December 6, 2021) - On a December Sunday afternoon the Saunders home was filled with family of all ages. Though the winter chill is coming on, the warmth, of the Saunders home could be felt.

Not with the heat of a wood stove or fireplace, but of a love of family from everyone inside.

The family reflecting on Christmas past and present.

(Over the last six years the Saunders family gather for Sunday dinner)

There were memories shared of Christmas past from those in the group and of the Christmas Village visualized and created through the years by Anne Saunders.

" When the kids were small at home, we did Christmas little by little. I started out with three houses, and through the years kept adding to village," said Anne Saunders who is 97 years of age this year. Her husband Lester will be turning 100 years old in March.

(Lester Saunders will celebrate his 100th birthday in March, Anne Saunders 97 years young)

The Saunders just recently lost their son, Paul, in October, daughter Ellen in December 1985 and Jim Saunders. Despite the losses Anne says we still have grandchildren, and great-grand kids that are still here, so we still must celebrate.

Anne loves her village, this year her granddaughter Leslie Crawford who was asked to help put it together.

" When we were younger, we were never allowed to touch it. This is year it was great to be part of putting this together for her. In the past, we were not even here when it was done. We would go home of one night. Then, we came back it was done, you do not touch," said Crawford.

This is something that the grand kids say was something a part of their lives during the Christmas Holiday, something they always would look forward to.

Anne gave the family members permission for family members to take home one piece of the village they like to have, this year. Anne feels like she will not be around next, year.

However, family members do not feel that way.

According to Leslie everyone would take their family Christmas pictures on the Christmas Day around the village. " We kind of got out of that here recently, but this is something that we are going have to start- up again. But all my childhood memories were centered around the village,"

" She is a stickler, she when it comes to the village. She says wherever you put its fine, however, then it's not fine, she has in her mind where the piece needs to go," Crawford added.

" I love the whole village, I put it up the same way every year. Christmas is such a good time to be around all the kids, and grandkids, and great- grandkids. Even the babies.

Christmas is always special for the Saunders family to get together and celebrate the season.

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