I’ve done a lot of crazy, fun things in my 52 years, but last weekend’s adventure was a doozy!
My husband’s alarm began it’s often ignored racket at five in the morning Friday, December 2. Normally, I don’t even hear it snoozing soundly obliviously to it’s existence, but on this morning, the alarm went off and I came immediately and completely online and ready to go.
My first conscious thought was: Merry.Merchant.Munch.
I felt like a kid on Christmas morning full of eagerness and anticipation. My heart was even beating a little faster than normal. As I drank my morning beverage, I began reviewing the day’s plans.
I took out my Merry Merchant Munch guide and studied the Munch map. I carefully read down the list of the 60 businesses and organizations participating in the event on Friday and Saturday. I checked their locations on the map. I made notes on which places were only open for visitors that afternoon. My plan was to visit each Merry Merchant and obtain a prized stamp on my Passport to Fun.
When I ran into Merry Braham at the Eagle River Women in Business Luncheon earlier in the week, I told her what I planned to do. I was going to all 60 and I couldn’t wait to get started.
I wondered what good things and good people I would find. Yeah, there was going to be all sorts of delicious muchiness, or so I’d been told. Nonetheless, I was really looking forward to meeting all the people the day had in store for me, and I was really really looking forward to hearing their stories.
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When it was time to go, snow was falling and the roads were slick, but I was not deterred by a little weather. I jumped in my car and headed into town to my first stop. I popped into Wal-Mart to visit the team at Denali Federal Credit Union, and to be honest, I was a little nervous. I’m new to this correspondent business – writing for the ECHO and all – and I didn’t want to come across as some kind of super-charged, holiday zealot. I had nothing to worry about because they were wonderful and friendly, and they gladly posed for a group photo. I walked out to the car smiling all the way. I had one down and 59 to go. It was going to be a great couple of days.
My next stop was at the Chugiak-Eagle River UAA office. Of all the Merry Merchant Munch participants I visited, this was my favorite stop. Their holiday theme was the creative genius of Hannah, a UAA student, and inspired by the movie “Elf.”
As an aside, “Elf” and “Love Actually” are my two all-time favorite Christmas movies. I highly recommend watching both for a super dose of love, goodness, and holiday cheer. What is your favorite holiday movie? Email me at Elizabeth@echoak.com and let me know.
The UAA office was decorated with scenes from the movie. The munchy menu offered was displayed buffet style on two huge tables. Visitors could enjoy, if they desired, spaghetti with maple syrup, Pop-tarts, candy canes, hot cocoa and even bubble gum, as well as a plethora of additional holiday treats featured in the film.
The friendly office elves were hospitable and helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent in their company. I even had my photo taken with Buddy himself. I sampled a few snacks and then I headed to the car and on to my next stop.
Unfortunately, I did not get a stamp on my Passport to Fun from all 60 participants. Try as I might, there just wasn’t time to visit them all. Nevertheless, I’m already planning my attack for next year.
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I don’t know how Santa does it. Obviously, he has some magic I don’t have.
By the time I headed over to Town Square for carols, kids, and Santa Clause, I had spent five wonderful, snowy, yummy hours on my quest. I was tired and stuffed to the gills. I made many new friends, and I ran into some old ones, as well, and every single person I chatted with or took a photo of, was a special gift to me. They each contributed to my fanstastical, crazy, fun adventure.
I have no doubt what we have here in our community is a very good thing.
The day, the people, our community, the event, the treats, gifts, and activities, surprised and delighted me, and I am so glad and happy to have been part of it all. Thank you!
Author’s note: I took hundreds of photos during the festivities. Please enjoy the fun of looking for your co-workers, your customers, family, friends and neighbors on The ECHO News website, www.echoak.com. Merry Christmas!