As a hectic Christmas season comes to a close, many traveled, welcomed family in for the holidays, and took in the lights and concerts.

Last Friday night was a great, fun-filled night for lovers of Sinfonia and the Nutcracker.

For me, the evening began with a private party, where I got to wish many of those I know a "Merry Christmas."

Then, on to meet a small gathering of friends at Tommy Bahama Cafe prior to the concert. Robert and Marinella Monk and her sister, Gabrielle from Houston, Sandy and Greig Buckley, Deb West, Summer Wheeler, and John Stasko were there.

The performance by Sinfonia and the Northwest Florida Ballet was fabulous, and covered all the bases of the musical and visual Christmas favorites. Everyone raved about it. Shaye Smith, Nancy and John Cottle, Shirley and Chuck Simpson, Roger Hall, Summer Wheeler, John Stasko, Pam Tedesco, Wally and Shirley Weisenborn, Zandra Wolfgram, Malpa Fuller, Nina Jeffords, Barbara Speni, Marinella and Robert Monk, Sandy and Greig Buckley, Hilary and Allen Butler, Francois and Joanne Bernard, Deb West, Chris Scott, Betty Cork, Nan Ream, Carol and Denny Wenrick, Keith Howard, Blevins and Jennifer Howard were some who enjoyed.

Many of those went on to the after party at Carrabba's. Paul Schreiner was, as always, on scene and the consummate host. Everyone enjoyed the passed calamari, fried zucchini, and ravioli. It was the maestro's birthday and he was presented with an unbelievable cake from KaraBoo Bakery that had the score from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker imprinted in the icing. It was fabulous! A perfect ending to a great night!

 Angela Ragsdale, Chris Waters, Julie and Tim Brown, and Mandi Porterfield were some of the between 40 and 50 people who dropped in for 30A Vet's open house last Thursday night.

Shaye Smith, Jamie McIntosh, Erin Ingram, Heather Tate, and Lauren Magli attended the Walton Chamber's YP at the Beach's Tacky Christmas sweater soiree at the Village Door.

Shaye and 17 other women also attended the Tacky Christmas Barre Party and raised almost $400 in cash and gift cards for a family that lost everything in a house fire last week. 

Jake and Susie Jacobs hosted a holiday soiree at their Driftwood Estates home last Tuesday night. Ray and Martha Jones, Willie and Nancy Parker, Jerry Lancaster and Crawford Sandefur, Don and Betty Hefner, and PJ and Christy Burke were some who enjoyed.

Charlotte and Sonny Stowers opened their beautiful new Genoa home to neighbors and friends last Tuesday evening. Joining the Stowers were Kent and Peggy Lillie, Paul and Lisa Reaves, Chuck and Erica Stoyer, Greg and June Kohls, Donna Johns, Danny and Debbie Speigner, Sue Devlin, Bob and Janice Mack, and Kay Short.

 Kent and Peggy Lillie enjoyed dinner at Marlin Grill Dec. 14 with friends from Atlanta. Peggy said the Village was so pretty and the concert was made up of all tubas a fun evening to put her in the holiday spirit.

Allison Yii enjoyed South Walton's Ecumenical Choir concert last Monday night.

Sandestin Fitness Center's ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) lunched last Wednesday in honor of soon-to-move-to-Mississippi's Art Hill. John Stasko, Jake Jacobs, Chuck Adams, Jim  Reagan, Ray Jones, and Wally Weisenborn celebrated and a good time was had by all.

Claire Bannerman had all of her children in for Christmas.

And, I welcomed home all of mine. Merry Christmas to me!

Jane Krimbill went home to Michigan for Christmas and found a snow storm awaiting her. But, she has finished a new book. I can't wait to hear more.

John and Kim Duke-Layden, and Lisa and Gerry Burwell visited Ireland.

Randy and Lillian Torrey treated themselves to a trip to the Big Apple for Christmas to see some shows and dine.

Malcolm and Linda Patterson spent Christmas in Baton Rouge with his children.

Scott Jackson spent the holiday in Titusville.

Joyce and Steve Sunday are back from the Bahamas.

Donna Burgess is back from the trip of a lifetime to South Africa.

Mary Wysochansky, Marcia Rhinehart and daughter Gina Minton just returned from the Big Apple, where they picked up their supply of Apples from the Apple Store. While there they took in "Wicked," saw the Vienna Boys Choir at the Met, went to opening day of "The Christmas Story" and caught up with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.  

Emeril Lagasse was one of the judges on Top Chef last week.

Donnie and Jennifer Sundal celebrated 20 years together last week.

The Pairs of Restaurant Paradis celebrate 43 years together.

The larger Destin area is listed at No. 3 in parts of the country that have seen significant job growth in the past year by 24/7 Wall St. The study found the industries driving the most job growth recently are energy-related, as well as housing and construction jobs.

Sharon Maxwell welcomed a new member to her family last week by the name of Jasper.

Barbara Rowan did also Zoe Lane.

A black, bobtailed kitty has shown up at Ray and Vickie Dollar's house. A new shop kitty?

Get well wishes go out to Ampy Cox.

Wish a "happy birthday" Saturday to the queen of Seaside, Heavenly Dawson.

Sunday to Judith LaHaie, Jimmy Green, Jimmy Milam, and music-man Sean Dietrich.

Wish happy New Year's Adam birthdays on Monday to Eric Clauson, and CVHN's Tricia Northcutt.

Happy New Year's Eve birthdays on Tuesday to Mitzi Millsaps, and Realtor Cynthia Kennedy.

Happy New Year's Day birthdays to Realtor David Kramer, Seagrove artist Donnelle Clark, and jewelry-lady Carla Hard.

Thursday to Susie Jacobs, Sally Smith, Sandestin's Mary Damroth, and Realtor Judi Rutland.

And Friday to Gwen Break, money-man Buz Livingston, Realtor Pat Carlyle, and photographer Jackie Ward.

I wish you all a happy New Year full of prosperity.


Deborah Wheeler is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Walton Sun. She may be reached at 654-8443 or email Her Party Line column appears weekly in The Sun. Contributions are accepted.