Wrangell in a snowy cloak.

Tree Lighting

Awhile back I was standing on the steps of the post office chatting with a new resident.

"I love it here!" she told me, "For all kinds of reasons, like being in a place where a young boy holds the door open for someone."

There he was, young enough that the door was heavy for him, but still pulling for all he was worth, and waiting for her to enter the building. She said, "Thank you," as she walked into the post office.

He replied, "You're welcome."

Wrangell is a town that includes their children. Lemonade Day allows young people to run their own business. The community makes an event of it, and turns out to support the kids' businesses by buying their lemonade. Garnets mined from Garnet Ledge may only be sold by the children of Wrangell. There is a summer reading program at the library that is not only lots of fun, but it also has an impressive list of prizes to reward young people for their efforts. There are many other events that tell children through actions that they are a part of the community now. They don't have to grow up in order to take their place in the town. The kids take that inclusiveness to heart. They work to get good grades in school (some of the highest in the state), do terrific projects around Wrangell, and love their home town.

Downtown Wrangell with the Christmas tree almost ready.

A toasty warm fire on a snowy evening.

Every year Wrangell has a Christmas tree right downtown. The city power crew puts the lights and star onto the tree, and then the decorations. Each year the decorations are made by the elementary school children! What a great symbol of the creativity of young people decorating and enriching our lives.

Yesterday evening was the tree lighting. The street was closed to vehicles, and a large crowd of people gathered. There were special holiday warming stations.

The tree was lit and the crown oohed and aahed, and then Santa showed up! I didn't get a picture of Santa, because I couldn't get near him. That is as it should be, though, because Santa had LOTS of children to talk to. They lined up and it looked like Santa would be busy for a long time. Thank you, Santa, for stopping in our little town.

My sweetheart and I visited with friends as we strolled through the craft sales. At one of the sales I saw a youngster with a goldfish in a bag of water.

"I won it at the carnival," she told me, "I know it is a girl fish because of her name: Sue-She!"

The children's carnival was the next stop. There were all kinds of games! The goldfish toss was very popular.

Tossing a ball to win a goldfish.

I think that goldfish bowls are going to be hard to find in town today.

Another popular game was the duck hunt.

Dad helping his son with the proper shooting stance.

There were youngsters skipping around the cake walk, a boy who was so happy with his catch at the fishing pond that he sat right down to start playing with the toys, and much more. There were lots of happy kids.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Alaska Beachcomber