The Lighting of the Christmas Tree

by Greg Lincoln

Last week on Wednesday, the community of Bethel came together to celebrate the first ever Lighting of the Christmas Tree. Local dignitaries, organization members, community members, children, and some pets attended (because they are also part of our families), coming together to commemorate the holidays with this event.

The tree is located in Dillon Park, across from the Bethel Courthouse.

It has been so chilly lately, and temperatures were cold that evening, in the single digits. Folks were dressed up like Eskimos to keep warm.

And there was singing – fun, joyous, laughter-filled Christmas songs. It filled our hearts with happiness to be there with everyone on that crisp December night. When Vice Mayor Thor Williams did the honors, everyone broke out in song, singing “O Christmas Tree”. There was also hot chocolate and snacks and folks were socializing and have a good time.

So when you are out and about, and you are driving or walking by the City offices and the courthouse, you will see the tree, glowing with Christmas lights and there is something about the glow of Christmas lights that makes you feel okay.

Each one of us has Christmas memories. It is a time to celebrate Christ and our loved ones. To give presents to our friends and family members. Each gift that is given brings happiness to the person you are giving it to. The part that means so much is the giving part. The actual gift also means much because it may be something that you really like, but the thought is what really counts because they were thinking of you.

As our children were growing up, they would give us homemade Christmas gifts that they had made in school. Do you remember those? How precious they are, cherished keepsakes that bring back nostalgic memories, some even bring tears to our eyes. How wonderful life was.

Gift giving is a positive way to help if you are grieving – you can still give presents even while those undercurrents of grief are flowing. It is a therapeutic way to continue on those Christmas traditions. It also helps keep the memories of your loved one strong, we don’t ever want to forget those that have gone on before us. The reason why we have Christmas gives us hope.

You can also give gifts in memory of your loved one who has passed on. This restorative gift giving shows that you care, that you care beyond your sadness, that you are here for the ones that you love. They are there for you too.

So when you see those lights on those Christmas trees, remember that there is hope. Quyana. Let us continue on our journey with faith, prayer, and more hope, because without those, what would we do.