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Congregation Adath Israel will welcome the season of Hanukkah with a socially distanced menorah lighting this weekend. All are invited to join members of the synagogue on Sunday, December 5, at 4:15 pm, for the lighting. The outdoor event will be in front of Adath Israel, 115 Huntingtown Road. Please note all guests, regardless of vaccination status, will be asked to wear a facemask in the interest of safety. Reservations are not needed but additional information may be available by calling 203-426-5188 or visiting congadathisrael.org.

Vicki Boccuzzi reached out last week with a Good Egg nomination — two, really — and I couldn’t agree more with her suggestion. Vicki said that she was among those who attended the recent Friends of Newtown Seniors social dinner event. “What made it really successful was that Senior Center Director Natalie Jackson and Receptionist Jennifer Faircloth stayed the whole dinner, well past the end of the work day for both of them, and helped the young servicer,” Vicki said. “It was lots of fun, and I know all of us appreciated their efforts to help us gather in a safe place. A big Thank You to both of them.” A big Thank You, and a Good Egg Award, from us as well.

Did reading about the Good Egg Award make you think of someone worthy of it? E-mail editor@thebee.com with a nomination, including the first and last name of the worthy person along with a description of why they deserve the award.

Local children are reminded that they have at least two opportunities to get their letters to Santa this Christmas season. Newtown Youth & Family Services is collaborating this holiday season with The Toy Tree, who is hosting a mailbox until December 15. Families can visit the toy store, now within The Village at Lexington Gardens, 32 Church Hill Road, to deliver letters to Santa. The letters should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope, which will help Santa respond in time for Christmas. There is no charge for this offering, which is part of the annual NYFS Newtown Holiday Festival.

The second opportunity has arrived in front of Baum Braces, who has hosted a Santa Mail box for many years. Children are invited to write a letter and drop it in the bright red box in front of 23 Church Hill Road. Include a return address, and the elves will make sure each child receives a response from Santa.

The local chapter of Friends of Counted Embroidery is on the move again. As of this month the group will be meeting at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. Meetings will continue to be the second Thursday of the month, September through June. Meetings run from 10 am until 1 pm, and all are welcome. Take projects in progress, questions, and a coffee mug. There is talk of a Christmas lunch following the December 9 meeting, at a Newtown restaurant. Reservations will need to be made for that, so anyone interested in joining that should contact Claudia Kelly, at CKK627@att.net, to let her know you’d like to go for lunch as well. Reservations are not needed to attend just the meeting but you can contact Claudia for information about the group as well.

While the boss is away … these cats don’t play! Editor John Voket has been enjoying some much deserved vacation time this week (he paid us to say that), but before he skipped town at the end of the day Monday, we took his picture. The photo isn’t meant to haunt us while he’s away. It was the After photo of John’s efforts during No Shave November. You may recall reading at the beginning of last month about three Newtown Police Department officers who joined members of 60 fellow departments, companies, universities, and individuals across the state in putting down their razors and teaming up with The Connecticut Cancer Foundation to raise funds. In a sign of solidarity, John joined Newtown PD Sergeant Matt Wood and Officers William Hull and Leonard Penna in promising to not shave all month — hence the Before photo (above) from November 5, on the left, and the After photo (also above), from Monday, on the right. John also donated to the local police department’s fundraising efforts.

Speaking of the local PD and their outreach, officers have two Toys For Tots collection events planned this weekend. Members of the department will be at TJ Maxx, within Sand Hill Plaza at 228 South Main Street, and The Toy Tree, on Saturday, December 5. From 10 am until 2 pm they will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for all ages. The collection will be forwarded to the local Toys For Tots effort. Read more about local collections, including where drop boxes are set up and when toys need to be donated, elsewhere in this week’s paper.

A reminder this week that when you head toward The Garden Club of Newtown Holiday Greens Sale on Saturday, you’ll need to go just a little further north than previous years. The club is moving this year from Newtown Meeting House into the gymnasium of Edmond Town Hall, at 45 Main Street. While they will be offering their regular inventory of hand decorated wreaths, boxwood trees, centerpieces, ornaments, and more, a little bird tells me there will also be a few very special guests joining the club members to welcome shoppers. Sydney Eddison and Kimberly Day Proctor will also be attending, and signing copies of the limited release The Woodland Garden. The hardcover book is a pictorial exploration of one of Sydney’s gardens, 40 years in the making. The book features photos by the two friends, and a brief introduction by Sydney. Copies will be available at the sale for $20.

Additionally, rumor has it longtime resident and author Andrea Zimmermann is ready to formally introduce her latest release. With her fourth book, a novel called A Legacy of Lies, Andrea is stepping into the murder-mystery genre fully. One of her previous books (The Case Files of Detective Laszlo Brisco) offered multiple cases based on true crime in Newtown between 1889 and 1933. This time, she is giving readers the opportunity to focus on one full case, “a real page-turner, a thoroughly engrossing mystery with a cast of well-drawn eccentric characters that grabs you from the first paragraph and doesn’t let go,” according to retired Newtown Bee Associate Editor Kaaren Valenta. Another local reader (okay, it’s my Mama Kitty) told me she was kept up until 2 am for two nights in a row because she could not put the book down. Andrea will also be at the Garden Club Holiday Greens Sale on Saturday. Tell her Mountain Cat sent you.

The greens sale is planned for 9 am to noon. Keep in mind, however, that the sale has sold out repeatedly in past years. Go early for the best selection, and to spend time with all of the special guests.

Edmond Town Hall will be busy all Saturday morning, in fact, thanks also to the return of The Rotary Club of Newtown’s Annual Pancake Breakfast to the Alexandria Room. From 8 am until noon, the local club will be serving up all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, real maple syrup, coffee, tea, juice and hot chocolate for the masses who missed the in-person event last year. Live entertainment is also planned, with dancing by students of Newtown Centre of Classical Ballet and Voice and Lathrop School of Dance. I understand Santa is also planning on stopping in as well. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for children, which can be purchased in advance (NewtownCTRotary.org) or at the door.

I will flip for joy as long as you promise next week to ... Read me again.

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