As our kids were growing up, this was absolutely among the most memorable things we did. It was actually at the Latham’s house in Jasper, AL where my friend, Shelia had so much fun putting together a widow’s luncheon during the Christmas holidays for the 100 widows we had in that church. Not all of them came, but I’d say we had a good forty in attendance some years and the best part was that children in the congregation helped prepare the food, served and practiced and presented the entertainment. Well, we didn’t live in Jasper forever, so when we moved we carried this wonderful tradition with us to Collierville, Tennessee, where we did it as a family.
Once on our own, we chose to have this annual event in our home around Valentine’s Day each year. We sent out colorful invitations that Caleb and Hannah helped make. Caleb, once old enough to drive, ran a “taxi service” on the big day to go pick up those who were unable to drive. Before this, the driver was Glenn. Both kids helped decide on and prepare the food and the decorations and both helped prepare favors for them to take home. I recall loaves of bread, candles, bracelets and big cookies were some of the favors. The most memorable part of the luncheon was the entertainment. Caleb and Hannah really went all out on this. They made up games, dressed in costumes, performed skits, quoted memory work, sang and played instruments. I loved this part because the women just could not contain their excitement and this, in turn, enthused the Colley kids about service. It was a grand and reciprocally encouraging event. We made lots of pictures and still treasure specific memories. One year, we had unexpected guests from out of town staying with us. They had five children who got busy and prepared entertainment selections themselves. That was a good year. I hope some of you who have children at home will adopt this tradition. It’s worth preserving and passing along.