Chugiak-Eagle River residents were looking at only a thin scattering of snow as the Yuletide approached, but the weather gods cooperated a bit with six days to spare. That brought to mind the year when lack of the white stuff raised concerns for a white Christmas. With only days to go, the ground was bare. When this writer crafted an editorial capped by a big “THINK SNOW” headline, it prompted a call from BBC in London. Our English friends had been dumped upon in record-shattering terms. The on-air trans-Atlantic conversation was hearty with offers of exchange that could only be fulfilled in fantasy. “Cheerio” sounded hollow and fell on deaf ears.
Even though this writer recognizes that not everyone is a believer in the One whose birth we celebrate this month he will never apologize for saying, “Merry Christmas.” Even a non-believer can enjoy the colored lights that brighten the darkest month of the year. The decorations are pretty and people are smiling despite their frantic shopping forays. The practice of giving and sharing love for our neighbors can be enjoyed by all—and well should be. He and the girl who became his bride 65 years ago have for many seasons celebrated the holiday by driving around to look at the decorated homes. We have noted the continuous growth of subdivisions and appreciate those who go all out to make their homes and yards festive. It’s not easy to forget the early years when the population was much smaller compared to today’s numbers. Even though smaller, the holiday spirit was evident throughout.
During the summer months, Camp Gorsuch in Chugiak is a hub of activity when Cub and Boy Scout camps are in session. In winter, the camp is home to an entirely new activity. The lodge, cabins and recreation areas are transformed with lights, decorations and a generous helping of holiday cheer into Christmas Towne Alaska.
The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but without a few safety precautions, they can turn into the most tragic time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that during the holiday season of 2010, 13,000 Americans visited the emergency room for injuries related to holiday decorations. Preventable falls, burns, property loss, permanent disability and even death can be the end result of neglecting to keep an eye on safety when celebrating the season.
Spread the spirit of giving and visit your animal friends at the Alaska Zoo! It's the annual Christmas for the Animals celebration on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 3 – 6 p.m. Bring the whole family to this fun and festive food drive that collects much-needed supplies for the resident animals who all made Santa’s nice list this year. Stroll through the bright lights as you drop goodies in the animal’s over-sized stockings and enjoy holiday tunes.
The Alaska National Guard has a tradition of serving communities throughout Alaska during the holiday season, delivering Christmas gifts and a variety of delights to the children. In its 61st year, some things have changed over time, but the joyfulness and excitement never does. The island-town of St. Michael was selected for a visit this year, and they expressed joy, gratitude and enthusiasm to their out-of-town guests who showed up to spread holiday cheer.