Grissom brings in holidays with Santa, tree lighting

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mark Orders-Woempner
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
With snow blanketing the frozen, cold ground, holiday cheer was spread all around. Airmen, the chaplain and Santa did sing, as the children wondered what gifts he would bring.

Bundled in coats and scarves so tight, they lit up a tree that was so festive and bright. And, with joy in his voice Col. Cahoon did call, Merry Christmas to one, Merry Christmas to all.

While the above may sound like a cute children's Christmas rhyme, it tells the story of a Christmas Town set up for Grissom Airmen and their families by the Airman and Family Readiness office in their new building here during the December unit training assembly.

"The kids had fun, the staff had fun, and the parents had fun," said Jill Marconi, Grissom A&FR director. "It was great to have it in our new building and offer more activities this year."

Those activities included cookie decorating with Mrs. Clause, story time with Lesa Smith, and a visit with Old Saint Nick himself. Lesa Smith is the wife of Chaplain (Maj.) Obadiah Smith, 434th Air Refueling Wing chaplain.

"There were so many cute kids out there," recalled Marconi. "After story time, each child picked out hats, mittens, gloves and scarves."

Each child was also able to pick out a small toy after telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

The Christmas Town also had something for parents, as A&FR staff gave out information packets about upcoming base activities and offering.

Festivities concluded with a special tree-lighting ceremony lead by Chaplain Smith and Col. William T. "Tim" Cahoon, 434th ARW commander.

During the ceremony, families and other attendees joined together in singing "Oh Christmas Tree" before lighting up a large white pine tree in front of the A&FR building.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.

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