†Itís beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least it did in Grove this weekend during the Christmas Open House.

†The traffic started getting heavy on Friday and by Saturday morning it was absolutely unbelievable. There were so many people at some of the shops that you couldnít get a parking place. It was hard to get around in some of the stores and if you didnít get there early you missed some of the hottest items of the season.

†There were a lot of shoppers from out of town who came to Grove because Grove has so many good places to shop. It was indeed the Christmas shopping destination and continues to be during the season.

† We have been encouraging Grove residents to shop local this Christmas season to help support the local economy. Money spent in your own community comes back to you in the form of better roads and streets, bridges, schools and a better city overall so itís a win/win situation.

It also shows those around you that you care about your community and your neighbors.

If you donít know what to get someone for Christmas then buy some Chamber bucks from the Grove Chamber of Commerce. The ďbucksĒ can be spent just like cash at any Chamber member store.

†It was great getting into the Christmas mood on Saturday but now you have to step back a little and prepare for Thanksgiving. Is that putting the cart before the horse or what?

† The United States Air Force Band that the Grove Sun brought to the Civic Center last week was truly a memorable evening. The 45 piece ensemble gave those who attended the free concert a chance to honor our military in a respectful, yet fun manner.

It was so good to see such a great turnout.

The beautiful weather helped.†

I watched as the audience sang along to some of the songs with tears running down their faces. I can only imagine what memories, what images, or what loved ones caused such emotion.

† I especially want to thank everyone who worked so hard to help with the preparations for the event - putting up over a thousand chairs and taking them back down is quite a job. A special thanks to Chris Hinkle for his help in this and thanks to the Grove public middle school band for helping as well.

† It would be nice to have a facility in Grove where we could bring in performances without having to put chairs up and down. A performing arts center?

I have heard there was some talk about this possibility but it was before I was here so I donít know what became of the idea.

I know there is nothing like the Coleman Theater here in Grove but Friday night the Tribute to Buddy Holly was sold out.

In the meantime we are thankful to have the Civic Center to hold important events.

In Real Life Cheryl Franklin is publisher of the Grove Sun. cheryl.franklin@grovesun.com