It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Seneca House in Tiffin. The senior living facility hosted free Thanksgiving dinners for the community and collected food and toys earlier this month. Sunday, Santa paid a visit during the home's Christmas party.
The gathering also served as a meet and greet for Tonya Miller, the new director at Seneca House. A graduate of Seneca East High School, Miller earned her bachelor's degree at Heidelberg University and previously worked as a registered nurse at the home. She is working on her master's degree at Heidelberg.
"This is my first week as residence director," Miller said. "I'm still learning, but I have a great staff here, and a lot of the residents are great to work with, as well."
Alison McConnell, who coordinates activities, planned the party, which was open to the community, residents, employees and their families.
"A lot of the residents' grandchildren and great-grandchildren are coming to visit with Santa and have some cookies," McConnell said.
Miller has no family members residing at Seneca House, but some of the residents know her husband's family. Many are retired farmers. One of them is Leo Seasly, who serves as the resident ambassador.
After more than 75 years of farming, Seasly's knees couldn't take the stress any longer. A little more than a year ago, he sold his 700 acres to one of his sons and retired.
"I love it here. It is one of the nicest places in Tiffin," Seasly said. "Yesterday they brought me a bunch of cookies. I volunteered to frost them and decorate them. I volunteer for a lot of that stuff."
Seasly also helps new residents get acquainted with their new living quarters. He worked on a large jigsaw puzzle as guests came in for the party, but he also took a turn talking with Santa. Jean Anspach came out of the kitchen long enough to sit on Santa's lap before the children arrived. Miller and McConnell welcomed everyone and pointed out Seasly's cookies and Anspach's punch.
"I'm a local person. I've lived here all my life," Miller said. "I'm really proud to work here because I think it's representative of the community, the small family atmosphere that's what I like about it."
Located at 781 S. Greenfield St., Tiffin, Seneca House is operated by Assisted Living Concepts. The phone number is (419) 443-8184.