Christmas in Mansfield

Gabriel Gilpin and Anna Gilpin visit with Santa Claus after the Mansfield School Christmas concert Dec. 20. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

 

By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Mansfield preschool student Poesiadon Bounds and librarian Thera Moore at the book fair Dec. 20. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

Mansfield residents were filled with the holiday spirit this season.

The last week of Advent was a busy one. The school celebrated by hosting a book fair, a holiday concert and a visit from Santa Dec. 18-21 before Christmas break began; and both the Mansfield Community Church and the Mansfield United Protestant Church held Christmas Eve candlelight services.

The book fair was held during school hours Dec. 18-21, and then following the Dec. 20 Christmas concert which allowed students and their parents an opportunity to find a memorable book together. The book fair is an annual fundraising event, said librarian Thera Moore. Funds raised help purchase books for the school library and book donations are always welcome.

“This is my third year organizing this event,” Moore said. “The last two book fairs met our financial goal and I am hoping we will do the same this year.”

The school’s suggested Christmas gift list ideas included ‘something you can use, something you can wear, and something you can read.’

“So we thought the book fair would fit in with this year’s gift ideas,” Moore said.

Preschooler Poesiadon Bounds was especially pleased with his book choice, “Puppy Dog Pals and Design a Dog” adapted by Michael Olson. “I like picking out new books at the book fair and having them read to me,” Bounds said.

Renee Bayless and granddaughter Raelynn Bayless attend candlelight service on Christmas Eve at Mansfield United Protestant Church. (Provided photo/Zach Wirchak)

Students in preschool through elementary on Dec. 20 then hosted a Christmas concert performance to a packed gymnasium. The children sang all of the old favorites including “White Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” During the concert, Santa was invited to join in when the performers and the audience sang “Jingle Bells.”

After the concert, Santa was available for visits from the children and photo opportunities. Seventh-graders Inessa Martin and Brielle Farrington also handed out bags with oranges and other Christmas treats.

Teacher Ric Bayless said, “The Christmas concerts are a wonderful Christmas tradition that we look forward to and enjoy every year. This is especially true now that we have a granddaughter to share it with.”

Wrapping up the busy holiday season on Christmas Eve, the Mansfield Community Church and the Mansfield United Protestant Church held candlelight services.

Nancy Harshaw, wife of MCC Pastor LeRoy Harshaw said, “The Mansfield Community Church enjoys hosting the candlelight services on Christmas Eve because it is a beautiful tradition honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.”

“The Christmas Eve candlelight service is one of our church traditions,” said Renee Bayless, wife of UPC Pastor Ric Bayless. “It’s a time to see family and friends that have come home for Christmas. For the closing song we turn out the lights and while everyone attending is holding a lighted candle, we sing ‘Silent Night’ a capella.”

“It’s a beautiful service,” Bayless added.

 

Children sing a variety favorite Christmas songs at the Mansfield School Christmas concert Dec. 20. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)