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Peggy Jo Studio Newsletter
Issue # 220 December 24, 2007

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THE GOLD WRAPPING PAPER - An Inspiring Christmas Story

Dear friends,

I don't know if the following story is true, but whether or not it actually happened, it is a wonderfully inspiring Christmas story. In this season of love, may we all remember the pure love of a small child. I wish you all a meaningful and love-filled holiday season and new year ahead. May your days be filled with love, joy, growth, and inspiration.

With heartfelt love and best wishes,
Fred Burks for the inspiring and educational PEERS websites

Once upon a time, a man punished his five-year-old daughter for using up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper before Christmas.

Money was tight, so he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve, he saw that the child had used the expensive gold paper to decorate a large shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package!"

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us as human beings have been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God.

There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Inspirational Christmas Story

The Christmas Truce
by David G. Stratman
From his book We Can Change the World

It was December 25, 1914, only 5 months into World War I. German, British, and French soldiers, already sick and tired of the senseless killing, disobeyed their superiors and fraternized with "the enemy" along two-thirds of the Western Front (a crime punishable by death in times of war). German troops held Christmas trees up out of the trenches with signs, "Merry Christmas."
"You no shoot, we no shoot." Thousands of troops streamed across a no-man's land strewn with rotting corpses. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged photographs of loved ones back home, shared rations, played football, even roasted some pigs. Soldiers embraced men they had been trying to kill a few short hours before. They agreed to warn each other if the top brass forced them to fire their weapons, and to aim high.
A shudder ran through the high command on either side. Here was disaster in the making: soldiers declaring their brotherhood with each other and refusing to fight. Generals on both sides declared this spontaneous peacemaking to be treasonous and subject to court martial. By March 1915 the fraternization movement had been eradicated and the killing machine put back in full operation. By the time of the armistice in 1918, fifteen million would be slaughtered.
Not many people have heard the story of the Christmas Truce. On Christmas Day, 1988, a story in the Boston Globe mentioned that a local FM radio host played "Christmas in the Trenches," a ballad about the Christmas Truce, several times and was startled by the effect. The song became the most requested recording during the holidays in Boston on several FM stations. "Even more startling than the number of requests I get is the reaction to the ballad afterward by callers who hadn't heard it before," said the radio host. "They telephone me deeply moved, sometimes in tears, asking, `What the hell did I just hear?' "
I think I know why the callers were in tears. The Christmas Truce story goes against most of what we have been taught about people. It gives us a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be and says, "This really happened once." It reminds us of those thoughts we keep hidden away, out of range of the TV and newspaper stories that tell us how trivial and mean human life is. It is like hearing that our deepest wishes really are true: the world really could be different.

Christmas in The Trenches - Song

To listen to this inspirational Christmas story in song: click here (free RealPlayer required)
Words & Music by John McCutcheon, c. 1984 John McCutcheon / Appalsong

This song is based on a true story from the front lines of World War I that I've heard many times. Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for 'consorting with the enemy' and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate. -- John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.
'Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.
I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, "Now listen up, me boys!" each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.
"He's singing bloody well, you know!" my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.
As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was "Stille Nacht," "'Tis 'Silent Night,'" says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.
"There's someone coming towards us!" the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night.
Soon one by one on either side walked into No Man's Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.
We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.
Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each prepared to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
"Whose family have I fixed within my sights?"
'Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost, so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.
My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I've learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we're the same.

Say thanks to our troops

Xerox "says Thanks" to Troops. According to the site, Let's Say Thanks is "a national program designed to deliver Cars from Troopsthousands of cards to soldiers overseas with messages of support from home. While the war itself is an issue I won't discuss here, support for the troops is widespread (and well-deserved). Xerox uses its technology to connect consumers to U.S. troops in a way that is not self-serving.

Card designs were chosen from submissions from children across the country which is a media opp in and of itself. And, in today's consumer-generated media world, it is great to see the option for children to submit their own designs. You can also download the designs and have a copy of the card mailed to your home.

The program takes a smart and engaging approach. And Chrismas time is a good time to send a card to our troops.

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During the Holiday Season, please check with the group that is putting on the event to make sure they are still having the activity.


" For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. "
Isaiah 9:6

From our readers.

Dear Peggy Jo,

Prayer Request: I understand that life in Iraq is very difficult to bear right now. Our troops need our prayers for strength, endurance and safety.

Send this on after a short prayer

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen." When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.


Mon. Dec. 24 Events

Bethany East

MON 2007-12-24

It's an old fashioned Christmas Eve celebration at Ann's in Grosse Pointe. Bring in the holiday with food, friendship, song and more. BYOB. For directions Contact: Ann (313) 640-3937 (she has moved). .

From 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM..

Location: Private Home . MI.

Send a free greeting card to a friend or family member click here

"In the comfort of our familiar, and in the faces of those we love, we own all the tresures of life."

Tue. Dec. 25 Events

Holiday or Special Event

Merry Christmas

Wed. Dec. 26 Events

Hugh NcLean Add

Bethany North Oakland County

WED 2007-12-26

Meet N Greet Mixer. Order from the menu. Dancing- Cash Bar Contact John 248-464-0756 .

Starts at 6:00 PM..

Location: Andiamo Mesquite Creek. 7228 N. Main , Clarkston, MI. 48346 New Location exit 91 (Ortonville rd M-15).

Metropolitan Single Professionals

WED 2007-12-26

VOLLEYBALL - EVERY WEDNESDAY. LEAGUES & LESSONS -Sign-Up Today, We welcome new players. .

Starts at 6:45 PM. Price is $6.

Location: Bloomfield Hills Middle School. 4200 Quarton Rd. (16 Mile), Bloomfield , MI. Just West of Telegraph .

Classical and Jazz Music Event

WED 2007-12-26

Spencer Barefield & Friends with Don Mayberry (bass) and Djallo Djakate (drums)Great jazz and soul food. Special guests each week. .

Starts at 8:00 PM..

Location: Baker's Keyboard Lounge. 20510 Livernois Detroit, Detroit, MI. 48221 Web site is .

The Scarab Club

WED 2007-12-26

BROWN BAG LUNCH Join us for an informal, bring-your-own luncheon of conversation and fun in the second floor lounge.

Starts at 12:00 PM..

Location: The Scarab Club. 217 Farnsworth, Detroit, MI. 313-831-1250

Royal Oak Computer Club

WED 2007-12-26

Weekly Meeting

Starts at 12:30 PM. Price is $1.

Location: Leo Mahany/Harold Meininger Senior Community Center. 3500 Marais , Royal Oak, MI. (248)246-3900 . North of 13 Mile Rd, just south of Lexington Blvd, east of Crooks Rd

Oakland Associates
Life Insurance Investments Financial Planning
Long Term Care
John Weiler,PO Box 4614 ,Troy, Mi. 48094, 248-464-0756

"Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day."
Helen Steiner Rice

Thu. Dec. 27 Events

Loving Goodies

THU 2007-12-27

Travel in The Raw! LIFESTYLES WORKSHOP You learn to anticipate and plan for a myriad of situations, including: kids school; adults at work; families and individuals traveling for business or pleasure; and more! .
or CALL to reserve your space
Pre-Regester for Classes $35.00
Pre-pay for 5 class series
Only $150 Call to purchase class series

From 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM..

Location: Designs Unlimited. 104 Willits, Birmingham , MI.

Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra

THU 2007-12-27

Starts at 7:00 PM..

Location: Temple Beth El. 7400 Telegraph at 14 Mile, Bloomfield Hills, MI. 48301 .

Single Place

THU 2007-12-27

Thursday Night Programs offer a variety of speakers, panels and entertainment. Social time is 7:30pm to 7:45 pm. Opening is 7:45pm to 8:00pm and program is 8:00PM to 9:00PM.

Starts at 7:30 PM. Price is $5.

Location: First Presbyterian Church. 200 East Main Street, Northville, MI. 248-349-0911.

PWP- Rochester

THU 2007-12-27

Weekly Dance. Our very own TJ the DJ plays TOP 40 and Your requests.

Starts at 7:00 PM. Member Price is $4 and guest price is $8.

Location: Rivercrest,Avon Rd. between Rochester & Livernois.

Send a free greeting card to a friend or family member click here

Fri. Dec. 28 Events

Bethany East

FRI 2007-12-28

Coffee and Conversation contact Eileen 586-790-4162.

From 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM..

Location: Tropicana. 36566 Gratiot, Clinton Township, MI. South of 16 Mile.

Detroit Institute of Arts Friday Night Programs

FRI 2007-12-28

Family Fridays (Fourth Friday): Special family performances featuring everything from puppets to theater to music, storytelling, museum tours and drop-in workshops.

Starts at 7:00 PM..

Location: Detroit Institute of Arts 5200 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 313.833.7900 More here

Folk Music & Dancing

FRI 2007-12-28

International Folk Dancing may be for you!
Admission is $7.00 per person; Singles and couples are welcome. No age limit.

> Light refreshments (non alcoholic) are available at no additional cost. Casual clothing and comfortable shoes are recommended. (Ladies, NO STILLETTO HEELS, Please!)

Starts at 8:30 PM. Price is $7.

Location: St James Catholic Church. 200 Hazelhurst, Ferndale, MI. 48202. Woodward And Hazelhurst.

Click here to keep your pet warm

"I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
Helen Keller

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child----Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness, and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas."
Erma Bombeck

Sun. Dec. 30 Events

GM Ski Club

SUN 2007-12-30

Meet at Anton's Island Grille for breakfast. Anton's is where life is about the THRILL O' THE GRILL. For a great breakfast and fun with friends, c'mon out and join us and be sure and bring a friend.

Starts at 10:00 AM..

Location: Antons Island Grille , Northwest corner of Big Beaver (16 Mile Rd) and Dequindre

Future Events

Other Events

MON 2007-12-31

New Year's Eve Party. Bring a dish to pass, your own beverages and $10.00. Leave no one behind.
By popular demand, New Years Eve will also be a "White Elephant" party. Bring a wrapped gift you would like to get rid of. .

Starts at 7:00 PM..

Location: Gayle Shields. 2129 Tall Oaks, Troy, MI. 48098 .

Bethany Suburban West

MON 2007-12-31

New Years Eve Party - Monday Dec 31st – Get your tickets early cost is $35.00 per person, this includes dinner beer, wine. For details call Judy M. (313) 389 4730, or Kathy M. (734) 513 9479. .

Starts at 7:00 PM..

Location: St. Robert Bellarmine Church Hall, Corner of West Chicago and Inkster Rd., Redford. Doors open at 8pm. Catered dinner at 9pm. Music by Dick Gerathy from 8:30pm 1am. ONLY 200 tickets will be sold! No tickets will be sold at the door

Bethany East

MON 2007-12-31

Ring in the New Year with Bethany East!!! Plan to attend our New Year's Eve Dinner/Dance GREAT BUFFET---with beer, wine, pop, and coffee included. Tickets are $30 in advance (before December 20th) or $35 after that. Limited seating. Advance purchase strongly suggested DJ Mark Sartorius will help us rock, roll and dance our way into 2008. For information, Contact: Loretta (586) 274-0284 or Pat (586) 739-6885.

From 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM..

Location: Holy Ghost Orthodox Church Hall. 38500 Ryan Road, Warren, MI.

Metropolitan Single Professionals

MON 2007-12-31

New Year Eve Party Dinner and Dance
Join the Metropolitan Single Professionals Meet New Friends, Enjoy Dinner, Dance and Socialize Anytime from 8:00 PM to 1:30 AM. Arrive Early--- Come Late--- That's Great--- Celebrate.

Doors open at 8:00 PM. Evening Includes
Hot & Cold Hors d'oeuvre (8:30 PM), Deluxe Dinner Buffet (9:30 PM Till. Fresh Fruit & Sweet Dessert Table with a Chocolate Fountain, Midnight Champagne Toast, Late Night Breakfast (12:30am), Hats, Noise Makers, Party Favors, and Much More! There will be a Top 40 D.J., Cash Bar & Door Prizes. Attire is Holiday Dressy / Dressy Casual (No Blue Jeans, Blue Jean Skirts or Tennis Shoes). The Ballroom is Non-Smoking

Admission is $35 in advance - Received by December 29 or $40 at the door - No checks or credit cards at the Door. MSPSC Info Line (248) 544-6445.

RSVP in ADVANCE at Any Dance OR by Mailing your Check to MSP, P.O. Box 2022 Farmington Hills, Mi 48333 Please Include Name, Address E-Mail & Phone Number

Starts at 8:00 PM..

Location: Club Venetion Banquet Center. 29310 John R, Madison Heights, MI. 48071 Just north of 12 Mile Rd. .

Fenton Area Singles

MON 2007-12-31

New Years Eve Party contact Dennis: 734-994-0373. .

Starts at 8:00 PM. Price is $35.

Location: Grand Blanc Country Club. 5270 Perry Road, Grand Blanc, MI. 48439

Somerset Ski & Golf Club

Wkn 2008-01-06

2 nites lodging, 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner, 2 day lift ticket, ski in-ski out. Wine and cheese party. Tell your friends about it. Contact : Alice 810-953-0113.

Starts at 7:00 PM. Member Price is $230.00 and guest price is $260.00.

Location: Boyne Highlands. Harbor Spings, MI. Drive up and Ski. Sunday - Tuesday. .

Detroit Regional Yacht-racing Association

WED 2008-01-09

The Joy of SailingBegin to understand the relationship between sailors, their boats, the wind and the water by kicking off the FREE winter sailing seminar season and join us at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) on Wednesday, January 09 at 7:00 pm, as various sailing enthusiasts capture the spirit of sailing for all ages and experience levels. These sailing enthusiasts will discuss their love of sailing from their unique and different perspectives: cruising, racing, and crewing. We all have our reasons for our passionate involvement and we'd like to share these with you! The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is located just south of Vernier Road at 788 Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The office telephone is (313) 884.2500. Also, members of the DRYA clubs will be on hand to discuss their club membership and their racing and sailing instruction programs.
The DRYA seminars are developed with the novice and recreational sailor in mind. These weekly Wednesday night seminars are designed to introduce the sport of sailing to non-sailors and to broaden the knowledge of newer sailors. They are FREE and open to the public. One need not belong to a club or the DRYA to attend. All seminars start at 7:00pm. These seminars are an excellent way to meet boat owners, crew members, and other people interested in sailing & racing

Starts at 7:00 PM. Price is Free.

Location: Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. 788 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI. 48236 Web site is

Adoption Associates, Inc.

TUE 2008-01-15

Adoption Associates, Inc., a statewide non-profit agency, is hosting a domestic infant and international (China, Russia, Ethiopia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Haiti and Ukraine) adoption information meeting. Come and learn about the adoption process in depth and the child that is waiting for you! Call Beth Barnes at 248.474.0990 for more information and to RSVP.

Starts at 7:00 PM..

Location: Adoption Associates, Inc. 26105 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI. 48334 Email address is .

Classical and Jazz Music Event

SUN 2008-01-20

Get the information here

Starts at 6:00 PM..

Location: First Baptist Church 300 Willis Birmingham, MI one block north of Maple Road (15 Mile Road), between Old Woodward Avenue and Southfield Road in downtown Birmingham, at the corner of Willits and Bates Streets.

Somerset Ski & Golf Club

Wee 2008-02-04

2 nts lodging, 2 breakfast, 1 dinner, wine and cheese party. Purchase own lift tickets - Seniors 50+ Tues, Wed, $15.00 each day.. ID required. . Contact : Alice 810-953-0113.

Starts at . Member Price is $120 and guest price is $150.

Location: Caberfae-McGuires Resort . Cadillac, MI. Drive & Ski (Bring your x-country skis.) This is for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday..