Homer’s Best Bets

It has been the Betster’s experience that some people go a little nuts over the holidays. You know who you are. Not that there’s anything wrong with embracing the joy of the season, but if you find yourself searching for frosted cookie patterns on Pinterest at two in the morning, perhaps you need to dial the ho-ho-ho back a notch.

Having lived a deprived childhood in the south, the Betster understands now how living in the north can pump up the holiday spirit. It’s dark and cold, and what better way to avoid going into a deep depression than immersing yourself in a holiday that involves shopping, decorating and cooking?

Make that holidays. That’s the fun part about this year. Although Christmas is one day, what with New Year’s Eve and lots of parties, the celebration keeps going. If you’re one of the chosen people, mazeltov! Hannukah lasts for eight days. Throw in a good solstice bonfire, and your social calendar quickly fills up.

See how easy it can be to get overextended? There’s decorating, and not just trees but entire rooms and even the front lawn. The Betster has to admit that at Chez Betster we have two Christmas trees, one live and one very fake because you have to hang the pink flamingo ornaments somewhere. Add cooking, baking and gift giving, and whew, it can get a bit chaotic.

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, remember the reason for the season. It’s all about the light. If you’re Christian, you celebrate the light of the Lord, the birth of the savior. If Jewish, you celebrate the light of hope and how a miracle inspired an oppressed tribe to persevere. If you’re pagan, it’s about the return of the sun and the turning of the season. We enter the darkest part of the year, but soon that changes and the light returns.

So take a deep breath, do a good deed, and embrace the magic of the season, perhaps with these Best Bets:


BEST FLASHBACK BET: Sure, you could probably rent some cheesy holiday films and watch them at home, but why not make it an evening and see some Christmas classics at a real movie theater? Reliable Comfort Insulation presents a free showing of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reinder,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” starting at 5 p.m. today at the Homer Theatre.


BEST TRAIL BLAZERS BET: A trail from Tutka Bay to Taylor Bay? How cool is that? Learn about a plan to cut a new trail at 6 p.m. today, a special program for the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust’s annual meeting at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.


BEST BRIGHT LIGHTS LITTLE CITY BET: If you’re looking for a colorful holiday display of lights, check out Bear Creek Winery’s Garden of Lights from 5-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the winery on Bear Creek Drive. Warm up by the fire pit and enjoy hot chocolate and live music.


BEST MORE ART BET: It’s hard to do a First Friday when you also have to run a craft fair, so the Homer Council on the Arts has saved its December gallery opening for this Friday. Join them for a Second Friday Holiday Party from 5-7 p.m. The gallery features a display of Puzuri ornaments — the Latvian craft using straw and other natural objects — made in Gundega Sneptse’s class.


BEST INCOMPARABLE COD BET: The Scots have haggis and the Swedes have lutefisk, both foods celebrated by their cultures that require some grit to consume. Enjoy the cod that surpasseth all understanding for Faith Lutheran Church’s annual Scandinavian dinner starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at the church. They also serve Swedish meatballs, lefse and other delights. Call 235-7600 to reserve tickets.


BEST QUEL BAZAAR BET: Shop for cool crafts and support local nonprofits with two bazaars this weekend. St. John the Baptist holds its annual Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the church on Ohlson Lane. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Homer United Methodist Church is the Sugar Plum Faire, a fundraiser for Special Olympics.