Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Prince George’s Residents in Holiday Spirit

Although partisan politics and bickering continue to play out in Congress along with the impeachment of President Donald Trump, some residents in neighboring Prince George’s County chose to celebrate and enjoy the holidays.

Inside Peppermill Village Community Center in Seat Pleasant, red and green tablecloths covered tables with a few gold bells hung on the wall and a Christmas tree sat in the back.

Residents who attended a free holiday breakfast mirrored the room such as school board member Belinda Queen, who donned a striped green and white dress and an elf hat.

Joyce Dews sported a red sweater accentuated with two decorated Christmas trees. She also donned a red and green elf hat with a small bell attached.

“I always get into the holiday season. It’s part of what I do,” Dews, of Capitol Heights, said. “We live for the holidays. That’s something we could afford to do. Celebrate.”

Queen and Dews joined a couple dozen other people Saturday, Dec. 21 at the breakfast hosted by the Coalition of Central Prince George’s County Community Organizations.

The aroma of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, grits and fruit filled the room, thanks to the assistance of Del. Darryl Barnes (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro.

“The holidays are all about celebrating the good, bad and indifferent and reflect on the goodness of God,” he said. “This time of the year is to put together my strategic plan for 2020 — that’s with family, friends and business and wow are we going to approach life and make us stronger as a people.”

Barnes said Saturday’s atmosphere of love and affection shows people can stay above the fray even with “Trump spewing down racism, hatred [and] bigotry.”

Some residents shared how they celebrate special occasions.

After the commission’s meeting to hear updates on Walker Mill Regional Park in Capitol Heights, Sen. Melony Griffith (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro headed to the Suitland Community Center to hear some poetry.

Dews and her daughter, Rhonda Dews, planned to meet family members at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro to watch a Christmas play.

“We have a cookout scheduled in June, but why not get together now with family when you can?” said Rhonda Dews of Upper Marlboro, adding that her mother decorates her home on the Fourth of July and Halloween for children.

The Rev. John E. Richardson, president of the coalition, said his spiritual growth allowed him to change his holiday routines.

For instance, Richardson and other members of Christ Kingdom Church in District Heights provided food and care packages for the homeless on the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Instead of sitting around the table and eating a bunch of food, I might fast based on my communication with God,” he said. “I celebrate these different holidays that’s not in the traditional sense unlike when I was young. Everyone has their own perspective about the holiday season based on their culture [and] religion. It’s more about giving than receiving.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail,

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