There is much reason to be cheerful during the holiday season. In keeping with that spirit, this week we offer cheers and … more cheers. Nobody, after all, wants jeers during Christmas.
Cheers: To generous giving. For weeks, The Columbian has been reporting on local nonprofits and citizen organizations working to make the holidays a little more enjoyable for those in need. The latest story is about a toy drive through the Children’s Center, which provides mental health services for local residents aged 2-18.
The drive includes “heavy helpers” — large teddy bears stuffed with aquarium rocks to give them added heft. “Kids love them,” one official said. “Who doesn’t like to hug a cute, soft stuffed animal, and it also provides that therapeutic relief.” Whether it’s the Children’s Center or the Clark County Food Bank or a bicycle-building effort spearheaded by Waste Connections, Clark County has demonstrated its generous nature throughout the holidays.
Cheers: To rescued dogs. In a story that gives us, um, paws, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington has added 18 dogs who are ready to be adopted. The animals were brought from Yreka, Calif., as part of an effort to relieve overcrowded animal shelters. The pack includes several small terrier and Chihuahua mixes, a young husky mix and a pregnant dog named Tabitha.
“HSSW truly is a lifesaving pathway for animals and our rescue partners around the country,” said Andrea Bruno, president of the local shelter. “And while our first priority is always the people and animals right here in Southwest Washington, when we have the space and resources to help our rescue partners, we will. We’re thrilled to help these dogs find homes for the holidays.”
Cheers: To historic trees. Seven trees at Parker’s Landing Historical Park, along the Columbia River in Washougal, have been designated for the Clark County Heritage Tree program. The Port of Camas-Washougal nominated the apple, cherry and walnut trees for consideration.
“It’s going to be helpful for promoting the history in the park and educating people about the historic families and the events that are tied to those trees,” said Susan Tripp, president of the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee.
Cheers: To political normalcy. We know, we know, it’s not healthy to talk about politics during the holidays. But we are pleased to see Joe Kent concede in the race for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s victory was confirmed recently by a recount.
“I promised during the campaign that I would accept the outcome of the election, now definitively determined as the recount has concluded,” Kent wrote in a statement. “This morning, I called my opponent to concede and offer my congratulations on her victory.” Acceptance of the results in a free and fair election is essential to a well-functioning representative democracy.
Cheers: To a white Christmas? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — or maybe not. Forecasters are predicting winter weather for this holiday weekend, leaving open the possibility of postcardlike streets and lawns for Christmas Day.
Typically, we would lament winter weather and the troubles it can cause. And we remind everybody to be cautious on the roads, especially if freezing rain coats the streets; don’t let your holidays be spoiled by slick roads. But if ever there is an appropriate and uplifting time for a white landscape, it is this weekend. Merry Christmas.