'Tis the Season

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
December 22, 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The volunteers from the Property Beautification and Hospitality Committee decorated our Headquarters for the holiday and the buildings are gorgeous!  The weather was wonderful for our annual Open House at which we welcomed over 1,000 people to our Headquarters.  As they entered the Pennsylvania Foyer, guests were treated to a stunning tree decorated with lots of eagles as well as gold and white ornaments.  In the O’Bryne Gallery, the DAR School Committee has a tree decorated with owls and the Junior Committee has one decorated with peacocks.  The Library has garland hung around the balcony and in honor of our 125th anniversary, a tree hung with photographs of each of the Presidents General.  In the stairwell near the Lobby, there is a patriotic tree.  Our youngest guests enjoyed visiting with Santa and the older ones sampled hot chocolate and cookies. 

We were very honored to have a surprise guest this year, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald and his lovely wife, Diane, who were joined by Dr. Linda Schwartz, Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning, and a DAR member in Connecticut.  Dr. Schwartz had arranged for First Vice President General Ann Dillon and me to meet with Secretary McDonald the previous week about the DAR’s longstanding service to our nation’s veterans.  We were delighted when they took us up on the invitation to drop by the Open House.  Secretary McDonald loves American history and was quite impressed with our Museum Exhibit, “Remembering the American Revolution, 1776-1890.”

Later that week the Executives donned cowboy hats which Denise VanBuren, Organizing Secretary General, had decorated with garland.  We visited each Department, thanking our staff for their dedication and sharing small gifts.  I’m sure they appreciated our enthusiasm more than our singing talent, however.  After a delicious lunch, names were drawn for door prizes.

Every year I wish the PB&H elves would visit my home and decorate it.  At the ranch, our tree is covered with family ornaments and standing in the corner of the living room while one cat sleeps under the tree waiting for Santa.  Most of the gifts are wrapped, or at least will be after one more trip to the store in town…

Since our grandchildren are young, we will go to their house Christmas Eve, attend an early worship service, and enjoy our traditional meal of Enchiladas.  While Christmas is never dull with three little ones under the age of 8, it will be even livelier this year as our son-in-law’s family will be there as well.  Santa will drop by after they are asleep and I have no doubt we will start Christmas morning early.  Thankfully, the weather will be mild and the children can play outside with their new toys while we help Lindsey prepare our luncheon.

Truly, our blessings abound!  I am deeply grateful to each of you for your service to our country through your membership and support of DAR.  May you, too, enjoy spending time with those whom you love.  Most of all, may your reverence for this holy season bring you much peace and joy.  

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Through restoring historic properties, funding scholarships and supporting our troops, DAR makes a difference in local communities.