On this Christmas Eve day, many neighbors will prepare their own unique Christmas traditions that are carried with them and handed down from generation to generation.
I heard Esther Pherson,17, who moved to Ninilchik with her family three years ago, reminiscing about her Christmas memories which occurred in a country so different from ours.
"Since I grew up in South Africa, we'd never wake up to snow. It would usually be hot and sunny or rainy," she said. "On Christmas morning, we'd excitedly open our gifts that were under our fake tree then go to church on Christmas Day, no matter what day of the week it was. At church we would sing our favorite Christmas carols and hear the most important meaning of the celebration how Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem and came to die on the cross for us. We knew that no matter what gifts we got for Christmas, God gave us the best one, his son," she exclaimed. "After church we'd return home and would be welcomed by the smell of turkey cooking. We'd play Christmas music as we prepared for dinner. After dinner we would call our family in Alaska and Ohio. Now that we live here in Alaska, we have snow and family for Christmas. Even though I love having these, I'll never forget our Christmases in South Africa or our little old fake tree."
The Ninilchik alumni basketball game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Ninilchik School gymnasium. Whether you are young or experienced in years, a player or spectator, all are welcome to attend the annual alumni game. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students and senior citizens. Tickets will be sold at the door.
Terri Leman, coordinator of the Ninilchik Health and Wellness Club invites the community to join the "Biggest Loser Contest" in January. This free event will be a way to encourage community members to lose fat and gain strength and energy at the Health and Wellness Club at the fairgrounds. The contest will run from the beginning of January through the end of March, with the kick-off at 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at the fairgrounds.
"Don't worry, we won't be weighing and measuring in public. All of your information will be kept confidential," Terri said.
For more information, call at 567-3880 or stop by the club. Club hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free admission to the club is provided through collaboration between Ninilchik Traditional Council and the Kenai Peninsula State Fair.
Those who are having birthdays this week are Matthew Encelewski today, Dec. 24; Steve Vanek and Jess McKellar on Dec. 25; Kristin Klaich and Thomas Vanek on Dec. 27; Nicole Leman and Casey Ogren on Dec. 28; and Linda Painter and Bob Simpson on Dec. 30.
Merry Christmas to all.
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