The mariner statue holds a Christmas tree at the Seafarer’s Memorial on the Homer Spit. Part of a Homer Harbor tradition, some mariners also put trees in the masts of fishing boats.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

The mariner statue holds a Christmas tree at the Seafarer’s Memorial on the Homer Spit. Part of a Homer Harbor tradition, some mariners also put trees in the masts of fishing boats.-Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Homer’s Best Bets

Now comes the time in the holiday season when … well, don’t panic. OK, panic. See the date at the top of the page? It’s Dec. 18, seven days before Christmas. Oh, sure, if you’re a guy, you’re saying, “Plenty of time,” but more organized people in the world have suddenly realized time’s a wastin’.

Decorate the tree, put up the lights, bake cookies, shop for presents, go to the office party, watch the kids in the holiday pageant, pack the bags for the big family trip Outside, wrap presents, mail presents, stand in the line at the post office to pick up presents and pick up one more Share the Spirit gift tag. Whew.

On top of it all, we have to deal with work, end-of-the-year projects, sick kids and spouses, icy streets and paths, and the usual entropy that presents itself just for the fun of it, like broken headlights. 

If you’ll pause in the madness, though, now and then you find treasures. The other day while walking the Spit the Betster found a well-buffed piece of blue beach glass. You don’t see much blue beach glass seeing as how most bottles tend to be brown or green. That’s the spirit of the season. Look carefully in the world and you’ll see wonders.

Maybe it’s a broad band of glowing green northern lights shining before dawn. Maybe a band of gray clouds will part just enough to let the sun shine through, illuminating Grewingk Glacier. Maybe you’ll be heading toward the door of the post office, arms burdened by packages, and a kind soul will hold the door for you and smile. Maybe it will be an act of tender grace, a nurse giving extra care to an elder at the hospital.

One more week. That’s plenty enough time to find the spirit of the season — family, friends, the gifts of love and companionship, the blessings of our spiritual beliefs, and the fact that we live in such a wonderful town with so much to appreciate, like these way cool Best Bets:


BEST JUST RELAX BET: Mingle with other people in the business community and check out new business Spa Envy on Pioneer Avenue from 5-7 p.m. today for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center After Hours event. Enjoy a chair massage and refreshments.


BEST SHARE THE LIGHT BET: The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies has several winter solstice events this weekend at its headquarters in the morning and at the Carl Wynn Nature Center, Mile 2.5 East Skyline Drive. From 9 a.m.-noon Friday are kids activities for grades K-2 and from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday are activities for grades 3-6. Space is limited; call 235-6746 to sign up. From 4:30-6:30 p.m. is an all-ages solstice celebration. Bring a side dish.


BEST NEVER TOO LATE BET: The Betster doesn’t get why something held five days before Christmas would be called a Procrastinator’s Fair, but there you go. Do some almost-at-the-last-minute shopping from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at Homer Elks Lodge.


BEST MINUTE BY MINUTE BET: After Sunday, those daylight hours will start increasing. Welcome the return of the sun with Williwaw Marimba’s concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at Homer Elks Lodge. The concert is free as the group’s gift to friends and neighbors. Donations are accepted to benefit Zimbabwean charities.


BEST WIND DOWN BET: Once you’ve finished all the holiday preparations, stretch those muscles with a free community skate from 1:30-4 p.m. Christmas Eve at the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. Santa Claus will be swinging by on his grand tour around the globe. Bring a food item for the Homer Community Food Pantry.

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