With only 19 shopping days left until Christmas, now is when seasoned shoppers get frantic. We Alaskans know you can't put off mailing packages to the Lower 49, so check off that list, wrap those packages and get ready to stand in line at the post office. Chop chop, time's a wastin'.
Yup, and don't forget baking cookies, trimming the tree, writing the Christmas letter, mailing the Christmas letter, decorating the house and digging out all those old Christmas CDs, because you can never get enough of Mannehim Steamroller. In between you'll have to shuttle the kids to holiday recitals, go to 47 festive parties and catch the last performance of the Nutcracker Ballet. You did get tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet, didn't you?
Holy Nativity! Let us all pause for a moment for the annual reminder of the reason for the season. Christmas is a major religious event for Christians, seeing as how it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth and King of Kings. For a refresher course, check out the New Testament. Start at the beginning and proceed to the three wise men bearing gifts.
So as Reuben Call put it, "Slow down. What's the hurry?" Sure, take care of that gift giving and all the other holiday traditions, but take care of yourself, too. Relax. Reflect. Enjoy the season with some of these Best Bets:
BEST BOOK IT BET: Go back to the past with local author Kris Farmen's new book, "Turn Again," about the early days of American Alaska. Farmen speaks at 6 p.m. today at the Homer Public Library for its Get Lit series of author talks. Farmen reads from his book and tells how he wrote about Cook Inlet in the 19th century.
BEST GET LUCKY BET: At 6 p.m. today, see if you could drive home a new truck from Stanley Ford when the Homer Chamber of Commerce holds its big raffle drawing. The car tickets are sold out, but there are still tickets left for the 4-wheeler drawing.
Got skunked? Maybe your luck will hold for the Pratt Museum Quilt Raffle and Community Recital from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the museum. Two quilts will be raffled and holiday music will be shared.
BEST GET STUFFED BET: Yum -- here's a holiday tradition worth keeping, the annual Share the Spirit Spaghetti Feed. Let's do lunch or dinner at the Homer Elks Lodge from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. A donation of $10 or 15 pounds of potatoes gets you an awesome meal.
Call before Tuesday at 235-7466 or at the Elks at 235-2127 from 8-11 a.m. to arrange for deliveries. Call ahead to arrange to pick up orders to go. Proceeds benefit Share the Spirit, Homer's homegrown charity.
BEST STUFF IT BET: Help homeless teens with the annual Teen Stocking Drive running this week and next. From 1-2 p.m. daily, drop off at GCI and Captain's Coffees items such as socks, toothbrushes, travel size toiletries, lip balm, candy and anything else you want to donate. Call Jany at 299-7578 for details.
BEST TRIPLE DOZEN BET: Whoa -- next Wednesday is 12-12-12, a triple dozen. That has to mean something, like maybe a hopping good party when Johnny B. and Friends rock out at AJ's. Catch the Homer musical legend the IRS knows as John Bushell in two shows at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Wednesday at AJ's OldTown Steakhouse and Tavern.