Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Happy holidays, neighbors.

There's something magical about this time of the year. It seems like there's an undercurrent of excitement in the stores, of expectation and anticipation. In each of the shoppers there is that quest for the perfect gift, and what adds the excitement to it all is that we're also shopping for the element of surprise. While shopping is tedious to some, it's a delight to others, who revel in the hunt for that special item that will bring emotion to the receiver of the gift. Believe me, it would bring delight to this shopper if I could figure out what to get anybody, surprise or not. Maybe I don't start early enough.

Whatever your feelings may be about shopping, try not to walk past one of those people positioned in the doorway at most of the major shopping meccas with their bells in hand. 'Tis the season to be generous, you know.

If you are a genealogy buff, you might want to stop by the Kenai Community Library to attend the Totem Tracers Genealogy Society's annual Christmas Tea tonight at 6 in the conference room. You can chat about family trees as you nosh.

Also happening at the library is a consumer health workshop for those interested in pursuing health topics on the Internet. This will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. Two librarians from the National Library of Medicine in Seattle will teach the workshop.

For more information or to register, call 283-4378.

Kenai Central High School concert and jazz bands are having a holiday concert and dessert auction tonight in the school auditorium at 7. This is a fund-raising activity to help buy needed additional band uniforms.

As concert attendees arrive, they can view and bid on their desired dessert and then at intermission, the highest bids will pay for and receive them. The remaining table of desserts will again be up for bid, and the final high bidders will receive their delectables at the conclusion of the concert.

The registration deadline for the Boys and Girls Club's holiday sports camp is Friday. It is for kids in third through fifth grade. They will be able to learn new skills in a variety of sports, including basketball, flag football, soccer and volleyball. It will run from noon until 3 p.m. Dec. 27 through 30. Call 283-2682 or stop by the club at 705 Frontage Road in Kenai to find out more.

One of the Kenai Senior Citizens Center's traditions is to host a breakfast with Santa. This event will happen from 8 to 10 a.m. Monday. This is an opportunity for children of the community to share this time-honored tradition with the seniors. Call 283-4156 for more details.

It isn't Christmas without pictures of the kids with Santa. You can get your child's photo taken with Santa from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Kenai Merit Inn.

Pictures are $5 for one child, $2 for each additional child. You also can take a chance to win the big stocking raffle for $1 a ticket. There will be cookies, punch and a gift from Santa for the first 500 children.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pictures will be available for pick-up at the Boys and Girls Club in Kenai from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23.

We received the word last week that Fred Wahlquist, who with his wife served a fellowship mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the area two years ago, lost his battle with leukemia Thursday. I remember his friendship and the special kind of love and respect with which he treated everyone he met. He lived his life with honor and integrity, and I share my sympathy with his wife, Helen. Call me if you want her address.

Holiday greetings have been sent to all of you from some former Kenai residents. Remembering the happy times and the good friends they had here are Kyle and Patty LeCates now in Utah, Carl (Doc) and Dorothy Helton, Paul and Chris Bruner in Australia, Marilyn Kanta in Montana and Alyce Johnson, now in Indonesia. Christmas is a great time to hear from old friends, isn't it? Makes me all the more determined to get my Christmas letter finished by Easter.

Happy birthday today to Jesse Corning, Tyler Chenault and Eugene Reid; Wednesday: Florence Munger; Thursday: Corneal Manson and Carl Casey; Friday: Donna Harris and Lynn Feik; Friday: Olga Hilleary, Gene Geller, Carol Garrett, Casey Ellis, Lauri Johnson and Alexis Mellberg; Sunday: Dana Sherman, Richard Pond and Gary Swanson; and Monday: Jennifer Brown, Robert Day, Holly Norwood, Julianne Wittwer and Len Malmquist.

Happy anniversary to John and Sharon Williams on Sunday.

Enjoy the joy of the season, with all your baking, shopping, concert-going and tree decorating, but also remember the reason for the season. And remember that in one week will be winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. From that day forward, the days will begin to get lighter, and before you know it, we will be entertaining relatives and tourists again in the midnight sun.

Joan Hansen can be reached by phone at 283-5872 or by email at

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