By Karen Wyman
I can’t believe it’s time once again to write about holiday and winter activities. In between the hilarious ugly sweater parties, rambunctious Yankee swaps and those calorie-laden cookie swaps, how could there be any more fun to be had you ask? Well, just let me tell you.
It seems every town offers at least one breakfast with Santa, and of course, Williston doesn’t disappoint. Gardener’s Supply is holding Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 15, so hurry up and sign your little ones up to break bread with the big man himself. Also, if you haven’t had the chance to bring the family to Maple Tree Place yet this season, you will want to get there this weekend for the final horse-drawn carriage rides with Santa. And you can get a little shopping crossed off your list as well!
If we are lucky enough to get snow this month, Catamount Outdoor Family Center will be the place to be! It’s so important to spend quality time as a family, and what a bonus to have a place where you can all be active together during these long winter months. You and your family (or just you if you need some alone time!) can enjoy the outdoors while sledding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Five Tree Hill Park also offers a scenic trail appropriate for most ages that is great for snowshoeing. If you’re like my family, it’s all about the sledding, and Rocky Ridge Golf club offers some of the best sledding hills around.
Since New Year’s is right around the corner, some of you may already be thinking about those resolutions. Perhaps this is the year you will learn to knit or speak Italian? CVU Access Program has several classes starting in January including a variety of ethnic cooking classes and even computer classes—so you can learn how to use your Black Friday electronic purchases! If becoming a more effective parent is on your agenda for 2013, you won’t want to miss Vicki Hoefle’s “Duct Tape Parenting” series being offered at Williston Central School beginning in January. Free childcare will also be provided. (And no, you can’t just drop your children off and go out to dinner instead of attend the seminar; I called and asked when I saw “free babysitting.” It was worth a try.)
It’s also important to remember what this season is truly about: giving. The Williston Food Shelf is in need of many items this time of year including spaghetti sauce, canned fruit and soup. Homeless shelters, coat drives, toy drives, animal shelters—it doesn’t matter which cause you choose, just please remember to help others if you can during this season. Dorothy Alling Memorial Library also offers a fun way to teach children about giving. From their Giving Tree you can select a book to purchase for the library or you can even sponsor an event that the library will host. My girls love choosing a book for the children’s section each year, and then checking it out as soon as it goes into circulation to see their names on a “dedicated in honor of” sticker inside the cover. Also, don’t forget our dedicated police and fire departments that work through the holiday season to keep us all safe and protected. You can call and see if there are any donations their departments may need, drop them off some baked goods or treats, or even write them a card of appreciation and thanks.
We can also give a gift to our future generations by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible during this potentially wasteful time. You can try to creatively wrap gifts in newspaper or old Christmas cards, or better yet, place gifts in reusable shopping bags for two gifts in one. Coincidentally, I think the catchphrase of “reuse and repurpose” has unintentionally made re-gifting socially acceptable these days. People will believe they are doing their part to save the environment by passing along the Elvis commemorative plate from Aunt Martha or the orange crocheted scarf from great-grandma. To truly help out, we can all just use less gas by shopping locally right here in Williston!
Hopefully you have been inspired to partake in some winter activities with your family once all the obligatory parties and gatherings have been attended. If you are like me and dread the holiday baking task, I want to share with you an E-card I came across that offers a creative alternative: “Forget the holiday cookie swaps, have a cocktail swap instead. Same calories, cleaner kitchen!”
I wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season.
Karen Wyman has been a Williston resident for seven years, and lives with her husband and twin 5-year-old daughters.