Whidbey Island is nearing the end of another Christmas season, with only a few days left to shop, worship and celebrate the season.
Churches are preparing for their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, and merchants are hanging out “sale” signs to catch the attention of harried last-minute shoppers. Meanwhile, hundreds of families who would otherwise have to make do with little will have a memorable holiday, thanks to the island’s giving community.
Toys for Tots, the Venture Club’s Tree of Hope, and charitable givings to Help House, among others, assure families they’ll have the toys and food they need for Christmas. The Salvation Army bell ringing effort got off to a slow start due to leadership changes, but the bells of Christmas came out in time to raise more money for charities on Whidbey Island. And of course the U.S. Navy is involved in virtually everything worthwhile, thanks to its thousands of community-minded members.
This has been an exceptional Christmas on Whidbey Island with its traditional events enthralling residents, from the Greening of Coupeville and the Oak Harbor Yacht Club Christmas Parade, to the ceremonial lighting of Oak Harbor’s downtown Christmas tree. Further south, the Greenbank Farm has been decked out for the holidays for weeks and is becoming a favorite destination for islanders seeking unique gifts.
In the happy homecoming category, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station has welcomed home two squadrons recently, just in time for Christmas. The Electronic Attack 137 Squadron “Rooks” came home from Iraq and Afghanistan over the weekend, following on the heels of the Patrol Squadron 40 “Fighting Marlins” who arrived home Nov. 29. Their families and the community at large are blessed to have these courageous and dedicated patriots home safely for the holidays, and we’ll keep those who are still abroad fighting the war on terror in our prayers.
As is worth noting every year, there is no better place to celebrate the Christmas season than on Whidbey Island with its giving people, colorful locations, varied communities and military presence.
We wish all the readers of the Whidbey News-Times a very merry Christmas. You deserve it.