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Many of our Clifton and Oxford residents held “Zoom” Christmas parties with their families. It wasn’t quite the same as in past years but was lots better than being alone for the day. I know that we are really looking forward to 2021 and hopefully a more normal life eventually. All I want for Christmas is the Covid-19 vaccine. 2020 has been a very long year.

The Oxford Ward youth held their annual sleigh riding party on Saturday, Dec. 26. Not much snow, but lots of fun!

Dru Westover has approximately 150 nativities in her home which she would like to share with anyone that would like to see them. Give her a call, 208-339-3932, to make sure she is home. This will go until New Year’s Day.

Dan Garner’s whole family ended up with the virus. They are mostly doing better now. Sherri tried quarantining in her basement, but the rest of the crew got the virus anyway.

We hope everyone has a great New Year’s 2021. It simply has to be an improvement over 2020.

Mink Creek


The Mink Creek community gathered for its annual celebration of the Christmas season. This year things were a bit different, as has been all things since March 2020. Keeping in mind the limitations, the social distancing and the wearing of masks, the program was televised into three rooms at the meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Narrated by Michael Jepsen, it was a showing of videos centered on the birth and life of Christ, and the prompt to follow Him, to Hear Him, to try to do as He does. Following the program, the group adjourned to the rec hall for a reading of an original Christmas story written and read by Marty Mickelson, a friend from Lewiston, Utah. The book was large on a screen and all ages could enjoy the storytelling of a moose family who helped out at Christmas time. Social distancing could be practiced, but it was great to see one another. A treat of prettily packaged cheesecake and a cup of hot spiced cider were ready to be taken home as the evening closed down. The Relief Society presidency was there to pass out a gift to each sister of a hand towel and poem; attached to it was a metal ornament of Christ’s story.

Jimmie and Anna Beth Olson traveled to Richfield, Utah, this month for a chance to watch twin granddaughters, play in a volleyball game. Their parents are Jerry and Christine Olson of St. George and Jimmie and Anna Beth took advantage of the game in Richfield as being the closest they would get to Preston in their games this year.

Neil Lemon, Juli Egley’s father, is with us for these winter months. It gives a warm feeling to the whole community to see the lights on in the Bryce Egley home where he is staying, within a stone’s throw of Juli and Jared Egley’s home.

The Christmas Star was very visible from our valley. The lack of street lights simply added to the beauty of it. The local coyotes have been pretty vocal lately, can’t help but wonder if these critters noticed this phenomenon.



The young women of the Franklin Second Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their leaders took on a ‘colorful’ elf project, painting 25 wooden ornaments each. The assignments created 30 gift sets of Christmas fun for Primary children and their families to be enjoyed Dec. 1 through Christmas Day. The young men and young women also enjoyed a night of caroling around Franklin on a flatbed trailer Tues., Dec. 15. To ensure warm hearts and voices they carried the hot chocolate with them!

Tuesday, Dec. 8, the ward party for the Franklin Third Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint, took some twists and turns to celebrate the season. Beginning at the Troy and Jenn Hobbs’ home at 3384 South Parkinson Road, ward members were given a map to complete a scavenger hunt. Then each auxiliary handed out treats at various homes, including candy canes, hand sanitizer, and fruit snacks, as the family cars caravanned their way to Scott and Sue Panters’ brightly-lit finale at 2727 South 2400 East, Preston.

Special thanks to the Lions and Elks Clubs for their food baskets to our neighbors in Franklin. Approximately 20 families received donations from the Lions’ Club at Thanksgiving, and the Elks’ Club covered an additional 15 families for Christmas. Their generosity and service are so appreciated!

The combined Packer/Owen family reinvented the annual Christmas party Sat., Dec. 19, in John and Barbara Packer’s double garage. The main event involved an ornament exchange during which there was plenty of trading and bartering over wrapped gifts. One popular ornament package read, “Fake News: I’ve been good!” The 25 partiers enjoyed fruit and desserts before they moved to the family campground to tube and snowmobile.

Jay and Delina Durtschi have enjoyed a visit from their son and his family, Lee, Tia, and four boys visiting from Spokane, Washington. The Christmas visit was highlighted with the baptism of eight-year-old Lincoln on Tues., Dec. 22. Grandpa Durtschi conducted, both grandmas gave talks, and Lincoln’s dad, Lee, performed the ordinances. Lincoln never stopped glowing, and neither did his cute red hair!

Ray and Sharon Chase spearheaded the Franklin First Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christmas drive-through on Tues., Dec. 22. Slowly circling the church, the cars full of members were welcomed by the three wise bishopric members, carolers including the Crosgrove and Wood families, a very green Jessica Womack “Grinch,” a nativity with Jim and Kathy Allen and a live donkey, pulled-pork sandwich sack lunches, and finally Santa with milk and cookies. The burning fire pits at each stop lit up the night and cheered the participants.



The girls in the Winder Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints played Bunco on Thurs., Dec. 10, said Teresa Shaeffer, Young Women’s President. The leaders gave the girls a gift with the youth theme for the year: 2021 “A Great Work” on an ornament of a manger scene. They ate chips and dip, relish tray, Oreo balls, fudge, and caramels.



The young women in the Weston 2nd Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made licorice caramels for one of their activities in December.



A Christmas party called “Night of Miracles” was featured over ZOOM to the Whitney Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Dec. 22. The pre-recorded program included Robert Sorenson reciting a Christmas cowboy poem, Garrett Winward — a missionary currently serving in the Arcadia California Mission — bore his testimony, Lacey Jeppsen — a missionary in Calgary, Canada, sang a Christmas carol with her companion, a video of all the service performed by the young men in the ward, and the young women put on a skit spelling out the letters of Christmas and gave meaning to each letter. Darin and Lisa Cole and their family acted out the Nativity scene in their home. A unique rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas of the past year was performed by various families. For instance, Day 2 and 10 were by the Zollinger Family, saying for Day 2 there were “too” many virtual meetings and for Day 10 they could only meet with 10 people at a time and since they had 11 in their family, one family member had to leave for all activities. Day 5 was by the Fred Titensor family who talked about five rolls of toilet paper left on the shelves at Stokes, and for Day 7, the David Jeppsen family portrayed the seven months of home church — some of the family were in pajamas, one with a white shirt and tie but no Sunday suit pants. David said he was in his NFL Jersey. Everyone had their own device, like a telephone, computer, some showing interest in what they were reading, others distracted. “It was the best Christmas program we’ve ever had. It was really fun,” said David Jeppsen. Prior to the virtual program, members within the community had already received a Christmas stocking with an orange, candy, and a message from the bishopric.



The Riverdale 1st Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints served brisket, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, roll, and cheesecake at their ward Christmas party, Fri., Dec. 11. John Dalley sang Christmas songs while families enjoyed eating their dinner at their own table separated from other tables. Children were able to visit with Santa in a social-distancing roped-off area. The party, held at the Preston North Stake Center was under the direction of Michele Stephenson and Haley Hamblin.

A yearly tradition, the ward’s Relief Society delivered a small basket of apples and oranges, a loaf of sweet bread, a picture of Christ and a note to women in the ward area to lift their spirits this holiday. The young men and young women also sang Christmas carols to them.



The Linrose Ward had a “Progressive Nativity and Celebration of the Newborn King” at three stops at the Dylan and Shayla Turnbow’s property on Dec. 22. A man dressed as an angel greeted the travelers who led them to the three Wisemen (Ryan Nelson and his sons, Dallas and Dillion), were given a paper to write their gift to Jesus and told where they could find the star and the stable and to put their gift in a basket at the stable. The stable was made out of hay bales, a light shone on them, and there were sheep, a calf, a donkey and a camel along with Mary and Joseph (portrayed by Shayla and Dylan Turnbow). Hot apple cider made by John Fuqua was handed out to the travelers along with a ceramic ornament decorated with a nativity scene on it. The bishop and two counselors greeted the Primary children who gave them hot chocolate and cookies. Each family received a Christmas card from the bishopric.



New “Come Follow Me” manuals for the new year, a can of hot cocoa, a loaf of white bread, and a message from the bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were given to memes of the Fairview 2nd Ward on Dec. 16 at a drive-through. Ministering mean and women delivered the treats and message to those who weren’t able to make it to the drive-through.

The Primary presidency surprised the children in the ward with a visit from Santa who rode in a wagon pulled by horses waving to the children throughout the community on Dec. 18 and 19. “We had some very excited kids,” said Melissa Dietrich, Primary Counselor. They were given candy and a wooden ornament with a Nativity scene and their names and date 2020 engraved on it.



Jackie Corbridge said the young women held a movie night at their leader’s home on Dec. 15. All of the youth delivered Christmas baskets to the community on Dec. 8.

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