Holiday - An Opportunity to be a Community

 On December 1 I fully embrace Christmas in all its glory. I am peppermint lattes. I am balsam and cedar candles. I am "Charlie Brown’s Christmas" and "A Muppet’s Christmas Carol." I am Nat King Cole and Andy Williams and Ella Fitzgerald all day long. I am baking gingerbread everything. I am holiday parades and wassail and garland and red and green and sparkles. For 30 wonderful days I revel and bathe myself in all that is holiday. Part of my personal December to Remember is the traditional Guemes Island Holiday Dinner. Last year I wrote an essay inviting everyone to attend, and this year I’m honored to do it again.

Being fairly new to the island, it was the first time I had attended, and I’m so glad I did. Because though I try hard to keep the holiday simple and meaningful, I get carried away and caught up in tinsel and twinkle lights and decadent chocolate treats and watching Love Actually (my personal favorite holiday movie) over and over and over. Our dinner together reminded me that the holidays are the gift of community. It’s one of the many reasons that we all live on this island we love so much. This year, more than ever, we need to embrace our community, lean in, cherish it, and be thankful for the supportive infrastructure we’ve created together.  

In light of the current political climate (and without getting too political) I’m going to quote John Lennon’s holiday tune, “So This is Christmas” which expresses what I’ve been thinking and feeling much better than I ever could:


                                    So this is Christmas

                                    And what have you done

                                    Another year over

                                    And a new one just begun


                                    And so this is Christmas

                                    I hope you have fun

                                    The near and the dear ones

                                    The old and the young


                                    A very merry Christmas

                                    And a happy New Year

                                    Let's hope it's a good one

                                    Without any fear


                                    And so this is Christmas

                                    For weak and for strong

                                    For rich and the poor ones

                                    The world is so wrong


                                    And so happy Christmas

                                    For black and for white

                                    For yellow and red ones

                                    Let's stop all the fight


                                    War is over over

                                    If you want it

                                    War is over



I know we don’t all celebrate "Christmas." Some of us celebrate Hanukkah or Winter Solstice, and some celebrate nothing at all. So I hope you’ll interpret the term “Christmas” in this song loosely. It’s symbolic. I tried to find a deeper meaning in Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” but couldn’t quite get there.

 In any case, this song inspires me, encourages me, reminds me why our Guemes traditions are so important. It’s easy to get caught up in the 24 hour news cycle of fear, anger and negativity. But we’ve all consciously made the decision to live here. On an island. Separate and disconnected, literally, from all of that. Remember? Let’s refocus on community and what matters and the reason we live on gorgeous Guemes Island.

 In a small community of 600ish people it feels as though we should know each other. But that’s not the case. The Holiday Dinner is a chance to do that. To get to know your neighbors.

My family and I will be at the Guemes Holiday Dinner where the church will provide turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes in the magically transformed, twinkling Hall that the Fire Department carefully decorates with lights. We'll come together with the near and the dear ones, the old and the young. I hope you'll come too. Let's sit together as a community of islanders, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, and share a meal. Together. This is how it should be. In a time where it feels that our beautiful nation is being ripped apart, let’s sew it back together, one potluck at a time. 

 “Every body knows a turkey and some mistletoe will help to make the season bright,” so we will have both in hopes that it will bring smiles and holiday goodness to everyone.

See you there! Fa la la la la la la laaaaaa.



Kids Activities at the church 4-5 p.m.
Dinner at 5ish (island time)
Church will provide turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes. Please check with your island organization for what to bring to the potluck. If you're not affiliated with an island organization, feel free to bring a dish of any sort. 
And last, but certainley not least, caroling at SANTA's arrive will be @ 6:15 ish. 


Tags: linetime