As a group of us seniors gathered at the Ralston American Legion for the December Catfish Night, our conversation turned to gift giving.

Marsha Jensen asked at what age do we stop sending birthday gifts to grandchildren? Not all of us present were grandparents, so we considered the question related to nieces and nephews.

Some of us felt when they graduate from high school while others felt never. Some grandparents ask for a list of what gifts are wanted and then shop in stores or online. Some send each grandchild a monetary gift of a $2 bill or a five, some send a savings bond while others send gift cards.

The one thing we all agreed on was the thank you note. Some of us commented on notes as well as many ways we are shown we are appreciated while some felt the thank you note must be too old-fashioned. However, they would be happy with a telephone call, an e-mail or text.

I talked with Kathy Thompson the next day, and she has a solution. If she does not receive a thank you note, the next time she sends a card she encloses a self-stamped addressed, thank you card. If it is not used, she won’t send a gift for the next occasion.

Grace Engelmann has a solution that works well. When she does not receive a thank you note, the next birthday card is sent with good wishes but no money. That worked so well that for her last birthday, Grace received not only a card but a plant from a special grandchild. Someone received a prompt e-mail for the empty card.

While we all know it is better to give than to receive, the Ralston #BeKind motto prevails. Kathy Thompson laughed when I told her that I still remember as a child I was so excited to receive a card that had slits and held 10 dimes. She said she still has one. Charlotte Doyle remembers those cards and commented that with today’s postage rates, more than half the money would be spent on the stamp.

I heard from our former program director Ila Hossler over the holidays. She said to wish everyone a merry Christmas. She is now officially a South Dakota resident and has the papers to prove it.

Since her Nebraska drivers license expired (she had not driven in three years) she could not use it for ID. She needed her birth certificate which was so dim they could not read it and she had to order a new one and show her marriage license since her name was different.

Eventually after her third trip to the Social Security office, she got the letter for her bank and an ID card.

She is happy in her new one-bedroom apartment that has a balcony and plans to enjoy it in the summer. The town has free bus service and there are things just a few blocks away. Being nearer to family is a real plus. Her three great-grandkids come see her and she enjoys attending school programs with them.

Donna Dix who has been a regular at the senior center, card player, line dancer, exercise class participant and daily noon Mass participant at St. Gerald’s, has decided to move closer to family. She’ll be living in Lincoln. Presently she is planning and coordinating the move. She, too, will be missed.

I went over to the senior center on the 31st to help un-decorate. Actually, I missed going there with it being closed for the holidays. Diane West had started early and was joined by Bev Sadler, Charlotte Doyle, Dorothy Schultz and Darla Majewski so it did not take long to have things taken down and boxed for storage.

Cliff Whitley and Ben Bouska from the city came and took down the big Christmas tree and put it away until next year.

Diane said we received a donation of center pieces for next year which will really brighten the center. The place looked bare when we left, but last Friday, when there for exercise class, the Valentine’s Day decorations were up and it looked festive again. We are always ready to celebrate something.

The menus for the remainder of the month are: Jan. 15: ham, scalloped potatoes and vegetable; Jan. 22: sloppy Joes, vegetable and applesauce; Jan. 29: mostaccioli, meat sauce, salad and fruit. Be sure to call Diane 402-885-8895 to make your reservation.

Now that the holidays are over, our second and fourth Thursday 1 p.m. bingo will resume.

The bus will be going to Sloan, Iowa and the Winna Vegas Casino Tuesday, be sure to call Dorothy 402-553-4874 to reserve your seat.

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