Artists on display: Artwork from Walther Lutheran High School displayed at the Forest Park Public Library this week, by Isabella Tang.

The annual Christmas Sing-Along “Messiah” was held at First United Methodist Church on Oak Park Avenue last Sunday. Everyone sings along, accompanied by a professional orchestra and soloists. Among the Forest Parkers this year were Lucy and Marie Gianelli and Carol Moran. Why don’t you come next year? Admission is free, scores are available at the door. A free-will donation at the offertory benefits the West Suburban PADS programs for the homeless.

Welcome home to Lydia Giuliano. Lydia has been visiting relatives in Estonia! Now she’s home for Christmas.

Welcome, also, to newcomers Tom, Stephanie and Erica Fumo. The Fumos come to us from River Forest and Oak Park. We hope they’re here to stay.

Friends and neighbors of Phyllis and Mitzi DeVilbiss miss the ladies and wish them the best at Cantata, formerly British Home.

Saints Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Riverside was packed for the memorial service for Gary Decosola. Granddaughter Rachel delivered a beautiful tribute to her beloved “paw.” Son Matt also presented a eulogy worthy of his father. True to his giving nature, Gary willed that his body be donated for medical research.

The Friends of the Forest Park Library held the annual Christmas party last Saturday. Presiding at the before-Christmas meeting were Hertha Orzula along with officers Eleanor Locati and Marge Zwadlo. After the business meeting, members played games under the able direction of Shirley Christell. One of the games was that old chestnut, make up as many words as you can out of the letters in CHRISTMAS. “Chimera” was the winner, but Paula Coonen came up with one I’d never seen in these annual contests. It is a “bad” word that begins with “s” and ends with “t”. Paula got extra points for that one! She and her sister led quite exciting lives before retiring in Forest Park. Paula lived in New York City, singing and dancing in many Broadway musicals — Music Man, Carousel, Call Me Madam among them. She even traveled on the road with a few. Claire was an illustrator for the Sun-Times after graduating from Ray Vogue, many years ago. She stayed with that paper for more than 40 years.

Belated happy birthday wishes to Carol Ann Hills on Dec. 2.

Remember to order those Norwegian Christmas cookies. None better! This year’s offerings are oatmeal lace, Krumkake, Kransekake, and SPRITZ. New this year: Serinakaker and spice. Call Dan Bjorenson, 488-1800 (days) and evenings at 366-0269. Pick up your cookies at St. Michael Lutheran Church, LaGrange Park, on Dec. 15 (noon-3 p.m.) and Dec. 16 (3-5 p.m.).

Birthdays this week are Peyton Brown, Morgan Trage, Madison Hannah Pronek, Corina Harnett, Steve Rozmus, Adnene Maughm, Peyton Brow, Aris Gianokopoulis, Sue Stanton, Bill Hopp, Amanda Rychtanek, Tim Flanagan, Irene O’Shea.

Let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas, even if it is a little bit early.

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...

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