The Palmerton Area Historical Society held its annual Christmas party on Dec. 14 at Bert's Steakhouse.

Vice President Jane Borbe said she was glad the improved weather let everyone attend.

The grace by Anita Harry included, "enjoy this gathering of friends and acquaintances."

Secretary Betsy Burnhauser said January is named for the Roman god Janus who was two-faced looking forward and to the rear.

It is appropriate for the society to take a look back, she said. The cemetery at the Little White Church was resurrected. A church service at the church was attended by 85 people.

The Heritage Center is doing well

Kibler School was visited by two groups from The Village in Palmerton. Comments from the visitors were favorable.

Two major events were the paying off of the mortgage on the Heritage Center building and getting a web site up and running - palmertonhistorical.org.

Looking ahead to 2010, the society will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and the center will be five years old. The society was founded April 16, 1990.

A tea party will be held in March with a "meet and greet" of past officers and board members. April 24 will be a public dinner at the First United Church of Christ, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Larry Yeakel, the first president, will provide a blessing and a message from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

In May there will be a walk-around-the-park tour with photographs from an earlier period shown.

Kibler School will have an open house in July.

Connie and Bob Reinhart will provide a power point presentation in August. It will be in the Knights' Gallery of the library. "Maybe we'll buy our own projector," said Burnhauser.

There will be an open house at the archives and at the Little White Church which will focus on the burying ground.

The annual ecumenical service will be held in December.

The story of the historical society will be the new display at the Heritage Center replacing the sports exhibit which was well received.

Dr. Stanley Peters said he has been coming to Palmerton to spend summers with his grandparents. When he wanted to attend medical school it was found he had had tuberculosis. He credits the air of Palmerton with acting as a sanitorium and saving his life.

He read a poem, "The Dash." As in a date such as, 1930 - 2000, the dash is what is between birth and death. No matter how much a person owns, it is what is done in that dash that people will remember.

Borbe said John Stefanik would provide keyboard music for a singalong. Burnhauser had brought simple instruments from the Charlie Brown Nursery for audience participation. She said the group was going "to be kids tonight."

For "Sleigh Bells," there were the bells and the clip-clop of horses' hooves.

Sand blocks provided the sound of people walking, A triangle and cymbals were to be used sparingly. Peg Johnson was the drummer who played the rum-a-dum-dum of a drum for "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

On a serious note Burnhauser said the "Twelve Days of Christmas" dated to a time when Christians could not be vocal so Jesus was the partridge, two turtle doves were the testaments. A Christian meaning was provided for each number of the 12 days.

Various people were assigned days for to sing "Twelve Days of Christmas" in rounds.

As "Deck the Halls" was being sung Burnhauser passed out the holly brought by Peg and Bill Johnson.

Borbe said the points on the holly leaves represented the points on the crown of thorns and the red berries were indicative of the blood.

"Silent Night" was sung with no added instrumentation.

Joann Harris and Jane Borbe were coordinators of the evening's program.