January 25, 2022

‘Thanks everyone of every generation for doing your part’

Newton is a special place to return to at Christmas, and this year was no different. From the moment I got off the interstate, with lights on the Jasper County Museum, I knew it was going to be a good holiday. Driving down the streets, the number of homes with lights on was impressive and notable. Left and right, homes had various arrangements of lights and decorations. Thanks to everyone who put up a tree, hung exterior lights and bought seasonal decorations. It helped make a brighter season for all. Well done!

Some highlights I had been anticipating.

Downtown Newton was charming as I had hoped, too, even without the snow. The stores on the square had a beautiful selection of gifts, goods and foods. It’s a privilege to have access to stores so close to home and purchase quality local items. Thank you to the business owners for your presence and for everyone who continues to support small businesses, both the heart of town and those scattered throughout. It’s a real pleasure to shop downtown Newton.

The real show stopper as we all know is the courthouse. It’s perfect! Thank you generosity of each Newton resident who helps make this happen! You demonstrate the beautiful of a collective commitment to the greater good. Thank you also to the county who also manage the Courthouse Lighting Fund and the labor to keep the lights on. I can’t image a single Christmas without the courthouse.

Some were highlights that were new or unexpected.

The teamwork and collective donations of Newtonians to revitalize Maytag Park at Christmastime always makes the season more merry and bright, but this year seemed to the best yet in recent memory. Thank you to everyone who supports that effort through time or money! It’s a lot of work, and everyone I know from town was talking about it.

The Tree-Mendous Christmas Experience and volunteers at the Jasper County Museum were the most memorable for me, celebrating the holiday and our history. The museum was full of beautiful trees everywhere you turned and thoughtful decorations throughout the entire space. Each room was a gift for the eyes to see. It was also fun to revisit and learn more about the area, its beautiful, prosperous history and the contributions of those who have come before us. It was a happy shared experience with friends and strangers. If you can go next holiday, don’t miss it. The museum volunteers clearly put in a lot of time to make the event a special one, and that it was. Thank you.

This year, I missed the peace of midnight Mass at St. Stephen’s and holiday fun at the Cellar Peanut Pub, which I hope opens again in 2022. I also want to give a nod to a few others I had great interactions with — volunteers for the Salvation Army and Center for Arts and Artists, and the Grabers at Rick’s Amoco, for checking my battery and helping me in a pinch.

I have a treasure chest of fond Christmas memories that center around this town and was reminded of that this year. Thanks everyone of every generation for doing your part to continue to make Newton a nice community.

From a forever Cardinal, and proud and grateful friend,

Kate Malott

Omaha, Neb.