Nathan Simpson of Dutch Boy Landscaping on Nov. 14, 2019, installs colored lights on the tree by Homer Electric Association in Homer, Alaska. The big tree by HEA is one of Homer’s landmark holiday decorated trees. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Nathan Simpson of Dutch Boy Landscaping on Nov. 14, 2019, installs colored lights on the tree by Homer Electric Association in Homer, Alaska. The big tree by HEA is one of Homer’s landmark holiday decorated trees. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Best Bets

The Betster has been known to get a big grumpy when people put up the holiday decorations before Thanksgiving. Well, the Betster can get grumpy about a lot of things, but never mind that. Holidays should fall in clear parameters and not squish into each other.

However, yours truly will make an exception for twinkly white and colored lights, especially here in the dark north as the daylight hours fade. Last weekend the Betster finally got the white lights up that line the path to Chez Betster and put up the paper stars. Only an enthusiastic greeting from the Betster feline and canine companions beats seeing those lights welcoming you home.

Long ago the Homer News embraced the local tradition of hanging a star in the window. Pretty much anywhere you go in town you’ll see stars glowing in shops and homes. It’s an easy way of showing that people live here, that we love this town and our neighbors. Remember Tom Bodett and his “we’ll leave the light on for you?” This is like Tom, but subtler.

Thursday marks the start of the traditional holiday season, a time of festivity, faith, fellowship and a bit of commerce. That buy-buy-buy thing can get a bit overdone, but on the other hand it keeps people employed and there is that whole gift thing. And maybe you will be buying for those who have much less, so remember to Share the Spirit.

The holidays — we hope — bring us together, reunite families and renew friendships. As you sit down at Thanksgiving and share a feast, think of those far away serving their country who won’t be with families. Think of those lost through addiction.

Pray for Duffy Murnane and others in the hope that all who are missing will be found.

As you ease into the season, celebrate the things that are good and beautiful and amazing here, perhaps with these Best Bets:

BEST BE LIKE THE BROTHER BET: Brother Asaiah liked to visit all the faiths in town, so we think he would groove on The Christian Science Society’s Thanksgiving Service at 10 a.m. Thursday. Tucked away on Bartlett Street across from the Pratt Museum, they’re one of Homer’s smaller faiths, but they have big hearts. Listen to readings from Mary Baker Eddy and the Bible, sing hymns and share expressions of gratitude.

BEST BE GRATEFUL BET: If you’re missing your family of 87 crammed into Grandma’s house, join your neighbors for a community Thanksgiving meal at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Homer United Methodist Church. You won’t have to sit with the kids at the card table in the kitchen because there’s plenty of room for everyone. All are welcome.

BEST GET READY BET: Build up an appetiite on Thanksgivins for the Turkey Trot 5k Fun Run/Walk from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Homer High School. This noncompetitive, non-timed run is for all ages. Bring two nonperishable food items for the Homer Community Food Pantry. Enter for small raffle prizes.

BEST KEEP IT LOCAL BET: There’s no need to head up the road to Anchortown or Slodotna when we have some of the coolest shops in the state here in Homer. Keep those dollars going in the community and celebrate Shop Small Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Early birds at four host stores can get free tote bags; visit The Classic Cook, Homer’s Jeans, Sea Lion Art & Lodging, and Wagon Wheel.

BEST GET OUT BET: No matter the weather, the ice is always fine at the Kevin Bell Arena. Stretch those legs and get a cardio workout for $5 Public Skating from 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday. Skate rentals are $1.

BEST GET SMART BET: There’s no need to wait for New Year’s to start on your resolutions. Need help learning English and want to work on your U.S. citizenship? Want to brush up on math or computer skills? Your local public college offers free evening drop-in classes from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays or Wednesdays in Bayview Hall at the Kachemak Bay Campus. Classes also are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

BEST BY THE BAY BET: They do some amazing things at the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Heck, it’s science, and the Betster just loves science. Learn about the KBNERR and share ideas at its Community Council Meeting from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday at Homer Middle School. The meeting features presentations by the Homer Middle School 8th grade class on their groundwater projects.Coffee/tea and snacks are provided.

BEST WAS HIS NAME BET: If you want to relax with a rousing night of Bingo, what better place than the weekly Bingo games at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Elks Lodge. Everyone is a winner because all proceeds benefit the Homer scholarship program. Sponsored by the Homer Emblem Club #350.

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