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December 22, 2003

Front page photo....   

'Everything Bright & Colorful..'
photo by M.C. Kauffman

December 2003
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All Christmas Trees are Beautiful
by Mike Harpold

I picked out the tree alone this year, Elaine was at work and our daughters too involved in teen things. I placed it in its stand in the corner of our living room, enjoying the fresh pine scent that filled the warm room. The branches sprang open as I cut away the twine that had held them in a tightly wound cocoon, and I stepped back and admired this beautiful tree that had been grown and shaped just for us to enjoy this Christmas season, and to live in our Christmas memories for the rest of our lives.

"It's ugly," said a teen voice behind me. I had thought I was alone.

"What's wrong with it?" I asked defensively.

"It's got a big hole in the middle, and the top's all crooked. I bet you didn't even look at it before you bought it." The top was bent over at a forty-five degree angle, which admittedly was going to make positioning our treetop angel a little tricky, and at least a foot of bare trunk was visible all the way around about midway up, but nothing a few garlands couldn't cure.

"Take it back," the voice insisted.

"I bought it at the Salvation Army," I said, hoping the point about buying it from the Salvation Army would trump any further arguments about the tree's ascetics. It did.

In an annual ritual, my mother used to accuse my Dad of bringing home the most pitiful Christmas tree on the lot simply because he felt sorry for it. Dad only smiled. It was an article of faith with him that there was no such thing as an ugly Christmas tree.

Decorating the tree was his job which he did each year on the night of our school's Christmas pageant, while Mom bundled up the five of us kids and hustled us off to the basement of St. Mary's School where we dutifully played our parts in front of an audience of beaming parents. We always hurried home afterwards, stopping only to admire the collage of light and tinsel visible through the frost on our front window before rushing into the house to view the wonderful tree Dad had created in our absence.

Dad's trees were collections of everything bright and colorful he could collect: tinsel stars, balls and bells, all the working lights he could muster, tinsel birds with fiberglass tails, toy soldiers, plastic Santa's, tinsel garlands supplementing the popcorn and cranberry garlands we kids laced together earlier in the day, and tinsel icicles on the branches, lots of icicles. - Click here to read the rest of this story...
Monday - December 22, 2003 - 1:15 am

Ketchikan's Holiday Lights
A Photo Feature by Carl Thompson

photosFestive holiday lights are appearing daily throughout the Ketchikan community. These colorful gifts of lights are provided by families for the enjoyment of all. Carl Thompson is traveling the community to capture these colorful light displays to share with the Sitnews readers.

arrow Photo Gallery 11 - Monday - Dec. 22, 2003

arrow Photo Gallery 10 - Dec. 20, 2003 arrow Photo Gallery 9 - Dec. 19, 2003
arrow Photo Gallery 8 - Dec. 15, 2003  arrow Photo Gallery 7 - Dec. 15, 2003
arrow Photo Gallery 6 - Dec. 13, 2003 arrow Photo Gallery 5 - Dec. 11, 2003
arrow Photo Gallery 4 - Dec. 10, 2003 arrow Photo Gallery 3 - Dec. 10, 2003
arrow Photo Gallery 2 - Dec. 07, 2003 arrow Photo Gallery 1 - Dec. 04, 2003



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