A special holiday season | Editorial
December 23, 2011 · Updated 1:20 PM
This being Christmas Eve, Whidbey Islanders might take a few minutes to reflect on what an outstanding holiday season we have enjoyed.
It started Thanksgiving Day with the Community Harvest, a free dinner that literally serves thousands in Oak Harbor. Coupeville’s potluck-version isn’t so expansive, but hundreds gather in the warm confines of the Recreation Hall to enjoy dinner together and talk with old friends.
Then consider the contributions of our outstanding arts community, staging both North Whidbey and South Whidbey versions of “The Nutcracker,” and orchestral, choral and flute groups bringing sounds of the season to venues throughout the island.
Consider too the massive efforts made to assure that no child goes without a gift under his or her tree tomorrow morning. Toys for Tots is still a tradition, the Soroptimists work hard on their Tree of Hope, the Kiwanis have a wonderful tradition of Santa handing out fat oranges to school children, and numerous other clubs and organization help children in their own way.
More impressive even is the effort made by school children, from elementary to high school, to reach out and help their community during the holidays. Food is collected to donate to Help House and Gifts from the Heart and clothing is donated to those in need. A group of high school students made an effort this year to keep the needy warm during the winter months and came up with a donation of 300 coats.
We sometimes get cynical about the commercial aspects of Christmas, but that’s not true on Whidbey Island. The merchants decorate their stores which are the heart of the community in Coupeville and Oak Harbor. The Greening of Coupeville with its parade is a tradition in the county seat, and Oak Harbor merchants were able to show off their sparkling new downtown with a Christmas tree ceremony and regular visits from Santa. Without our business community, Christmas would not be nearly so bright and cheerful on Whidbey.
This is just the tip of the holiday season iceberg on Whidbey Island. There are simply too many groups, organizations and individuals dedicated to making the holidays a joy for everyone to list individually.
Tonight and tomorrow present outstanding opportunities to give thanks, however. Attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church service. Enjoy the special music, solemn and joyful services, and give some time to enjoy the real meaning of the season, which expresses itself every day on Whidbey Island.