Over the past decade, Christmases in Cardington have been magical. Thanks to the Friends of Cardington organizing the annual event of “Christmas in Cardington,” the village is dressed in red and green with wreaths hanging from the telephone poles (courtesy of the village’s street department employees) and inflatables placed throughout the town. The American Legion Village Park is strung with Christmas lights and decorations from the stage to the shelter house.

Not only has Christmas been something of a big deal for Cardington in recent years, but as I read through the newspaper archives for December at the Morrow County Historical Society, it has been an exclusively celebrated holiday for decades. The tradition of students at Cardington-Lincoln High School to perform operettas on the stage to display Christmas cheer through carols and skits was something of routine pleasure. While the operettas may not be a pastime in today’s world, the students at Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools are ringing in the holiday with spirit weeks and collecting cans for a food drive intended for families in need this holiday season.

A Christmas Eve tradition of my family is one that allows taking in the holiday presence of the town in our car. We set out to drive up and down every street in Cardington looking at all of the homes and admiring their Christmas lights and other decorations while listening to seasonal tunes. It is a time for us to make sure we are in the mindset of the Christmas spirit and the season of giving. To keep this week’s column shorter than usual, I hope that like my holiday, yours is one filled with love, family, and gifts, both those you have given and received, this upcoming week.

Looking back:

• 50 years ago, December 1973: For the second time this fall, vandals broke into the buildings of the Cardington-Lincoln Local School District following the annual Christmas program. Only $3 in loose change was taken from the break-in, but some damage was done to the building. Danny Bowers, of Cardington, was bestowed with the highest honor in scouting, an Eagle Scout. William Hack was the scoutmaster for Cardington’s troop.

• 40 years ago, December 1983: Dr. David Steck, graduate of Ohio State University’s dentistry school, was the featured speaker for the week’s Rotary Club meeting about why he was establishing his dentistry practice in Cardington. Students from Cardington-Lincoln High School were listed as America’s “Who’s Who.” They were Christa Baughman, Abbey Beck, Dawn (Boger) Crum, Angela (Boyd) Dendinger, Teri Brake, Julie Burton, Dean Davis, Diana (Davis) Robinson, Diane Gompf, Nathan Harvey, Glenn Heacock, Kay (Hull) Patterson, Robert Keckler, Margie Korody, Marty (Perry) Barnett, Christine Peterson, Doug Poorman, Luann Reed, Willard Smith, Jr., Rhea Straley, and Lurynda Van Dyke. The Cardington-Lincoln FFA Chapter held its annual Thanksgiving dinner on Dec. 21. Prizes for high fruit sales were awarded to Rodney Foltz, Ron Minturn, Ronny Babbs, Doug Goodman and Monty Coleman.

• 30 years ago, December 1993: Stephanie (Gompf) Joliff was awarded the top prize of National Diversified Crop Proficiency Winner at the National FFA Convention. The Cardington-Lincoln Chapter of FHA, advised by Angie Bush and Melanie (West) Studer, attended a leadership conference in Columbus. The students who attended were Richard Carlos, Cory Counts, Teresa (Doolin) Counts, Ken Garee, Becky Lester, Gretchen (McElroy) Joliff, Nella Porteus, Amy Stone, and Kristie Thompson. A mock wedding of Ryan Rose and Becky Lester took place in Melanie (West) Studer’s family living class. Students Nicole Cornell, Mandy (Thomas) Holt, Shawn Seitz, Steve Webb, Trent Brown, Sarah Davis, Heather Lawyer, Audrey Waterhouse, Heather Westbrook, and Jason Duncan were members of the 41st class of inductees into the Cardington-Lincoln High School National Honor Society.

• 20 years ago, December 2003: Jack and Pat Wilhelm donated $50,000 to the Cardington Youth Foundation for the construction of a skateboard park in the village. Heather (Caskey) Deskins, graduate of Cardington-Lincoln High School in 1994, received her certification as a certified valuation analyst. Mayor Cecil Maxwell retired after 24 years of elected office service in the village of Cardington. Merlyn Crisler retired as Cardington postmaster after 24 years on the job.