Father Mark Hoying helps us remember to celebrate the true meaning of Crhistmas.
Father Mark Hoying helps us remember to celebrate the true meaning of Crhistmas.

KALIDA - Whether it is the children's choir singing the sound of angels, or just looking around to a full church of friends and family, the warm feeling of a Christmas Mass brings heartfelt memories. Father Mark Hoying of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Kalida as well as his parish has begun to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, office worker, Connie Cleemput put together the giving tree for the parishioners. A giving tree is a Christmas tree with tags that has lists of items a needy family may need. When one chooses a tag off the tree, they are asked to buy one or more items on the list.
"The people here (in Kalida) do a very good job at supplying the needs from the tree very quickly," said Hoying. "Families are always very excited to choose a tag from the tree to help others in need."
Hoying also explained how he shares a very special Mass each year with his parishioners to help express the true meaning of Christmas.
"We host a 'Barn Mass' to tie into the simplicity of Christmas every year. The purpose is for us to try and remember the joy of being together and the warmth of the closeness. Many times it's cold in the barn, and we have to sit very close together," said Hoying "We have animals in the barn to bring us back to what it may have been like during the birth of Christ."
In the past, St. Michael's has had a live nativity and last year, people were asked to bring old Christmas photos for a slide show called 'Christmas from the past.'"
"I think we do over look the simplicity of Christmas. Look at the simplicity of a child. We try to give them everything, like electronic games, where a child is happy with simple things. They don't ask for more than to be loved," said Hoying. "If the world was more like a child, it would truly be a better place."
(To read more please view this weeks issue of the Putnam County Sentinel on 12/5.)