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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Press Talk: Let’s rock some Christmas tunes!

By , Columbian Editor
2 Photos
Dianna Kretzschmar leads the caroling.
Dianna Kretzschmar leads the caroling. Photo Gallery

I get it, I get it.

This is the time of year when we all wish for everyone to have a joyous time. But come Sunday, my wish is to make Dianna Kretzschmar’s life miserable.

Wait! Wait! This misery could very well be a good thing. Let me explain.

Dianna is one of those generous, loving, community types. And she is especially that way toward the elderly. Every year around this time, she puts together what she calls the Jingle Bus Tour. It’s a ragtag bunch of friends and family members who parade around to a few assisted living homes and sing Christmas carols.

Most of us don’t know how to sing — but so what, right?

We hit four assisted living homes last Sunday and had a great time. But doing all four homes is difficult for those with busy schedules, so there were times when the choir got pretty dang small.

So that’s where you all come in.

You can help me make Dianna’s Sunday miserable. In a good way.

Imagine this: So many people show up to sing that Dianna doesn’t know what to do. She couldn’t possibly stuff them all into the space we have at the homes we visit, so she throws up her hands and starts stuffing herself with Christmas cookies in despair. No kidding.

• • •

As we all get older (some of us more than others), life can get lonely at times. Giving back the gift of company and companionship is invaluable.

My wife, Maley — who joined the Jingle Bus Tour last Sunday — is always good company at these events. She and some others make a point of staying behind for several minutes — after the singing is done — to visit. You can see the surprise and joy from those at the homes when a visitor lightly embraces them, smiles and just says hello.

And if you help make those moments happen, you not only touch those who are in assisted living, but it touches you, as well.

• • •

So here are my two requests:

• Join us on Sunday. The first stop for the Jingle Bus Tour is noon at Brookdale Orchards Village, 10011 N.E. 118th Ave.

• If you can’t join us — and I completely understand — just smile and say hello to someone you wouldn’t normally do that to. Drop me a note to let me know how that goes.

• • •

My theory on building a great community is to expand the number of us who get directly involved. You don’t have to always give money or attend fancy dinners. You simply have to show that you care.

And, hey, caring doesn’t mean in this case you have to know how to sing or dance or juggle. You simply have to know how to smile. We’re all in this thing together. And together we can make it happen.

• • •

Oh yeah, one last thing. Have you heard Dominick, the Italian Christmas Donkey?

What? You haven’t?

The song was sung by Lou Monte in 1960 and re-released in 2011. For reasons that are quite unexplainable, the song actually rocketed to No. 2 on the British iTunes chart on Christmas week in 2011.

I tell you all of this because (dramatic pause required here) if you join us on Sunday, you get to hear my rendition of this classic.

No reason we can’t start another trend rocketing this song up the charts.

• • •

So here’s hoping we see you all there. And I promise, if too many of you show up, I’ll do my best to keep Dianna away from those cookies.

Columbian Editor