2013 is history and a new year is here. But before we totally close the door on 2013, there are some good times to still take notice of.

I was honored to be asked to judge the greater Driftwood Estates Christmas decorations this year, which I did with my daughter's help the weekend before Christmas. Congratulations to first-place winners David and Amy Walsh of 54 W. Shipwreck; second-place winners Steve and Donna Fontana of 668 Driftwood Point Road; and third-place winners Vicki and Wayne Blount of 500 Driftwood Point Road. Albert Disalvio of 550 Driftwood Point Road, and Jamie Wiley of 136 Driftwood Point Road received honorable mentions.

June and Jim Milam hosted a get together at their beautiful Gulf Place home Dec. 23. John Stasko, Ashley and Summer Wheeler, Diane Smith and Steve Bacon, Tom and Dana Saffel, Mike and Carol Stovsky, Sharon Thompson, and Tom and Michelle Fillingim attended.

I was delighted to welcome all of my children home for Christmas this year, and their significant others. We enjoyed our tradition of attending Christmas Eve service, then the hospitality of Maunsel and Karen White at their lovely gulf-front home in Seagrove. Gerry and Gillian Lee, Dana and Tom Saffel, Joe Serrato, Brenda and Jim Radtke, Ed and Donna Macdonald, Candace Abuvala, Mike and Sherri McCarty and their daughter Kelly, Beth and Bob Coppedge, Didon Comer, Payson and Steve Howard, Barbara Pierce-Smith, Patti Johnson, Terry and Diane Olive, Al and Dudley Cook, Stephen Marlette and Harriet Crommelin, Ashley Wheeler and Matthew Toms, Brett and Elizabeth Wheeler, Michelle and Rod Joly, Dan Mueller, Randy and Barbara Horton, Tom and Ellie Hopkins, Summer Wheeler, and Scott Bruns were there to enjoy.

Brad and Holly Speight visited Missouri during the holidays.

Ray and Vickie Dollar welcomed all of their grandchildren for a visit. 

Pauline Sutcliffe enjoyed a white Christmas in Michigan.

Lynn Wesson enjoyed Christmas in the 'Ham with her fam.

Nina Horn visited Fort Worth and Little Rock.

Stephen Marlette and Harriet Crommelin enjoyed a white Christmas in New York City.

John Czapleski flew to L.A. to be Santa Claus for grands Jaxton and Juliette. I hear he was hailed across the U.S.A. in his Santa hat and beard with lots of folks cheering him on in Panama City and Nashville airports and wanting to take his picture.

Patrick and Christi Ferry, Mark and Paige Schnell spent the day before Christmas at FloraBama.

Stephanie, Peter, and Cam Burke went to Louisiana.

Design star Vern Yip and his family celebrated Christmas in Rosemary Beach.

Right after Christmas, Ricky Fannin and his family left for a vacation in the Bahamas.

Steve Bacon and Diane Smith held an après-Christmas get together for neighbors at their Gulf Place home Dec. 27.

Marie and Hanie Nasri recreated First Note Music Hall Dec. 28 at Marie's Bistro and the locals turned out to enjoy the music of Harold Shedd, Tim Jackson and Joanna Cotton. Brad and Claudia Droy, Joe and Lea Capers, Donna Burgess, Dana Saffel, Linda Roundtree, Tammy Henderson, and Tommy Jackson were there.

Sandy and Alex Weiner ran the Biggest Loser Run/Walk 5K/Half Marathon in PC on Dec. 29, and they both finished second in their age groups.

Historian Brenda Rees hosted her annual Countdown to Walton County's birthday toast on her back deck overlooking Eastern Lake at sunset Dec. 29. Lauren Rees, Matt Jones, JoAnne Jones, Summer Wheeler, Gloria Anderson Hollingsworth, Ken and Kit Little, Lorraine and Ken Sloan, Don Pace, Stephen Brinker, and Kris Chavez enjoyed.

Tom and Dana Saffel hosted their annual New Year's Adam hat party at their home Dec. 30. Keith and RoseAnn Knight, and Bobby and Jane Beene are two couples who attended. 

Demetrius Fuller brought in the new year in Cincinnati.

Dudley and Al Cook left New Year's Day for Vegas. On Friday they drove Route 66 until it terminated at the Santa Monica Pier, then are spending Saturday and Sunday at Marina Del Ray. On Monday they will go to Pasadena for the BCS Championship game, and on Tuesday they will drive back to Las Vegas and fly home on Wednesday. Nice.

Seagrove artist Juan Francisco Adaro has a show in New Orleans coming up Jan. 4-6.

Condolences are expressed to Doreen Baca in the death of her mom.

Wish a "happy birthday" Saturday to Lourdes Reynafarje.

Sunday to Realtor Kitty Taylor.

Monday to Laurie Hobbs, Seaside's Lori Smith, and lady of the stars Diane Eichenbaum.

Tuesday to chef extraordinaire Sandor Zombori.

Wednesday to Victoria Hunt, Zoe Modica, and William Schissler.

Thursday to Stafford Von Hoene, Brenda Nunnery, and Realtor Peter Burke.

And Friday to Susan Livingston, Barbara Pierce-Smith, Joan Rice, and Michael McIntosh, Sr.

Here's to a great new year!


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