Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz, right, smiles as Rep. Paul Seaton, NP-Homer, left, presents her with a Legislative Proclamation at her retirement party Land’s End Resort on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Swartz ends her job as director at the end of the year. Friends joined her in celebrating her tenure as director of the local branch campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz, right, smiles as Rep. Paul Seaton, NP-Homer, left, presents her with a Legislative Proclamation at her retirement party Land’s End Resort on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Swartz ends her job as director at the end of the year. Friends joined her in celebrating her tenure as director of the local branch campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

You’ve heard of summer solstice, now get ready for his darker, grumpier, more menacing brother: winter solstice.

On Friday we will experience our shortest day of the year (and, before you complain, remember: We don’t live in Fairbanks or Utqiagvik. It could be a lot worse). We’ll also experience the longest night of the year.

From what the Betster remembers of Pagan rites and rituals, solstice and the following Yule are packed full of nasty surprises and interesting celebrations. Perhaps some Homerites plan to partake in the traditional feasting, though hopefully not the traditional sacrificing.

Should you fear evil spirits or demons have their eye on your home (the Betster won’t speculate what you’ve done to warrant this), take heart. Simply pop a Yule log into your fireplace or wood burner and keep it ablaze throughout the longest night. No demonic presence has been known to get past a Yule log yet.

It’s also been suggested that the solstice is a good time to forgive those who have wronged you. Why head into the new year with a chip on your shoulder.

If that kind of celebration isn’t for you, take a look at these Best Bets:

BEST BEDTIME STORY BET: Tonight’s Thriving Thursday is Santa Story Time. Come in your pj’s and enjoy milk, eggnog, cider and a low-sugar treat while listening to holiday stories read aloud by Mrs. Claus. SVT will have an opportunity to visit with Santa and sit on his lap. Stories will include classics such as: “Carl’s Christmas” and “The Night Before Christmas.” There will be an opportunity to create a bookmark and choose a book to take home from our Little Free Library. All ages are welcome. Photo opportunities will be available. Please call Patty at 907- 435-3215 or stop by SVT Health & Wellness to sign up.

BEST BEAT THE DRUM BET: A Winter Solstice Celebration of Art and Music with the GrandMother Drum will be hosted at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Whirling Rainbow Center. Please call 907-715-4433 for tickets. They cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Children under 16 get in for free. This is an alcohol-free, drug-free event.

BEST BAZAAR BET: Well folks, this is your last chance. For finding Christmas presents, that is. Luckily there’s the Last Chance Holiday Bazaar at Chapman School in Anchor Point at 10 a.m. on Saturday. It’s the perfect time to get your last minute Christmas shopping done or have your gifts wrapped at the gift wrapping booth. There will be handmade items and holiday gifts from many different vendors. Booths are on a first come, first serve basis. If you’d like to rent one, please contact Heidi Adams at 399-6025, or you can pick up an application at Chapman School.

BEST DANCE TO THE BEAT BET: Kuf Knotz​ is an Indie progressive hip hop and Soul artist who has combined forces with Christine Elise, a classically trained harpist/pianist/vocalist for a very different and dynamic sound where no musical territory goes unexplored. He’ll be performing for the Salmonest Music Series at 9 p.m. Saturday at Alice’s Champagne Palace. If you’ve been waiting for something that’s different and edgy, this is the show for you. Tickets are $10 at the door, or are available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kuf-knotz-christine-elise-tickets-53447752667?aff=erelexpmlt.

Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz, right, laughs as Homer Mayor Ken Castner, left, presents her with a Mayoral Recognition — but not a proclamation — at her retirement party Land’s End Resort on, Dec. 14, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Swartz ends her job as director at the end of the year. Friends joined her in celebrating her tenure as director of the local branch campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Kachemak Bay Campus Director Carol Swartz, right, laughs as Homer Mayor Ken Castner, left, presents her with a Mayoral Recognition — but not a proclamation — at her retirement party Land’s End Resort on, Dec. 14, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Swartz ends her job as director at the end of the year. Friends joined her in celebrating her tenure as director of the local branch campus of Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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