‘Twas the Friday before Christmas: How the Valley gets ready for the big day

Local News

Have you ever wondered how people in assisted living facilities spend the holidays?

(WKBN) – The Valley’s Friday before Christmas included some last-minute shopping, holiday lights and making the season comfortable for the elderly.

Boardman’s Jim KIimis spent part of his afternoon at the crowded Gracylane store in the Southern Park Mall, shopping for his wife.

“I usually wait pretty close to the last minute,” he said.

Klimis can usually get all the shopping done in one day.

While most of the shoppers at Gracylane Friday were women, it’s also a popular place this time of year for men.

“During the holiday season, I’ll look around and there will be only men in this store, especially Sunday and Monday,” said Yvonne Reese, a Gracylane employee.

In the center of Poland around the clock tower, Edison Lighting’s Harry Peterson showed us one of the 500 Christmas light displays his company puts up.

“We install them, we put them up, we take them down,” he said.

Edison Lighting also does all of downtown Youngstown, Warren’s Courthouse Square, the Shops at Boardman Park and 400 homes.

When the season’s over, Edison Lighting stores it all in its warehouse.

“It’s totally maintenance-free for them,” Peterson said. “They don’t have to look at anything. If there’s a bulb burned out, we come and maintain it during the holiday season and they don’t have to worry about it.”

At Shepherd of the Valley Poland, the Christmas season was celebrated Friday evening with RC’s Little Canine Cruisers Tricks and Agility Team.

“People actually tear up just petting the dogs and it makes them laugh,” Cheryl Ross said. “It makes us feel good so we come as frequently as we can.”

Shepherd of the Valley does what it can to help its residents enjoy the holidays. Besides family events, students are invited in to help and interact with the residents.

By Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the place will be crowded.

“Tons of visitors, gifts,” said Lisa Slipkovich, with Shepherd of the Valley. “We have churches that we select. Residents that may not have families nearby and they bring gifts for them, and that’s always big smiles.”

Slipkovich said they offer services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for their residents.

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