Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

Santa’s elves have been working overtime recently in Overton, Texas as they prepare for the Christmas Parade that will take place on Monday, Dec. 2.

The elves were commissioned in town early by Warden David Hudson of the Billy Moore Correctional Facility. He said, “I was approached by the Queen Price Garden Club and the Overton Citizens Beautification Committee to ask the ones capable of handling the job to help out. They knew as long as we have the time and the talent the job would get done. And those particular “elves” were especially happy to tackle the job.”

“New decorations can be seen downtown and a paradigm of Santa’s house has been made by the elves for little ones to sit on his lap and give him his wish list after the parade. Some mischievous elves took the wooden Mustangs (the school’s logo) and placed them in front of Santa’s Sleigh instead of the reindeer this year. You should see it — those elves have done an excellent job adding cheer to the downtown area. Spearheading the elf projects on our behalf was Major Carolyn Cox. It has been fun and we are all excited to see Santa.”

The parade will be the largest in its history according to Jeannie Barber, Vice President of the Overton/New London Chamber of Commerce. She said, “The theme this year is “A Storybook Christmas. There will be 50 entries this year and certainly the largest I have ever seen. We are so pleased the Kilgore Rangerettes will be in it as they have over the decades and West Rusk, Leverett’s Chapel and Overton schools will be participating.

Line up will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Commerce Street and the Overton and New London Police Department and Fire Departments will crest the hill in front of the library with sirens blaring to signal the beginning of the parade. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m.”

After the Christmas parade a fire truck will deliver Santa to the replica of his house located between Vera Bank & McMillan Memorial Library. The responsibility of making sure Santa arrives fit and ready to fill those lists falls on the shoulders of Vernon Brown and Becky Morgan.

The children will be asked to go up the hill to the library where Mrs. Claus will be waiting with cookies and story reading. Amelda Penn will be making sure the children enjoy the stories about Mr. Claus and Christmas.

Number one cookie maker for the event is Jennifer Freeman, branch manager at the McMillan Memorial Library. She readily shares her favorite recipe. Jennifer said, “I love a good Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie anytime of the year but especially during the holidays. The cinnamon butteriness of this cookie pairs perfectly with those warm holiday feelings of love & joy. This is my favorite recipe! Happy Holidays!”

Oatmeal Cookies

¾ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ¼ cups flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. cinnamon

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy using the paddle attachment; add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon together. Add to egg mixture in portions. Mix until just incorporated; stir in oats & any raisins, nuts or chocolate chips desired. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment. Bake for 10 mins.

You don’t want to miss out on this fun evening in Overton. Monday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. Check out what Santa’s elves and helpers have created for this year’s largest parade ever.

There is a first time for everything as you will notice a recipe in this column. This season, I want to hear of some weird or unusual Christmas stories that have happened to you and and a favorite tried and true cookie recipe.

We are blessed! May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughtout the Week. We may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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