Since August, Christmas has lurked in the back corners of big department stores waiting for one day. No, not Thanksgiving, when many of us officially usher in the holiday, but the ominous-sounding Black Friday.
For some, Black Friday is a time to reap deals on cheap goods in preparation for the season of giving. For others, it’s a sad chapter of consumerism eating away at the sanctity of Thanksgiving as stores extend their holiday hours.
Here’s six alternatives for the Christmas season kickoff whether you plan to stand in store lines or not.
Thanksgiving brings so much activity and so many expectations that it’s easy to forget the holiday’s purpose as a time to be grateful.
The Moscow yoga studio Nourish will offer a Thanksgiving Morning Gratitude Practice from 8:30 to 10 a.m. today to help people find the abundance in their lives. The 90-minute, all levels class will use yoga, meditation and journaling.
Admission is a suggested $10 to $15 donation but any amount is welcome.
The idea for the class is drawn from the Sufi saying, “Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given.”
The studio is at 206 S. Main St.
2. Thursday: Festival of Trees
Star Wars, French candy, Harley Davidson, and colonial America are themes for four of the 16 trees at the Tri-State Hospital Foundation’s 2013 Festival of Trees.
The festival is open from 1-4 p.m. today at the Nez Perce County Fair Pavilion in Lewiston. Admission is by donation. Cookies, coffee and apple cider will be available. The festival includes a Holiday Gift Shop.
Tickets are on sale for the festival’s other events: the Joanne Shears Holiday Tea & Vintage Style Show, 10 a.m.-noon Friday ($16); and the gala dinner, auction and dance, 6-11 p.m. Saturday ($100). Tickets should be purchased in advance and can be obtained by calling (509) 751-4556, online at festivaloftrees.tristatehospital.org or at the foundation office, 1347 12th St., Clarkston.
3. Friday: Drop and Shop
Clarkston’s Asotin County Family Aquatic Center is saving local children from the boredom of accompanying shopping adults. The center will hold Drop and Shop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
For $5 per child parents can leave children ages 5 and older at the center for swimming, games, movies and snacks. The center is at 1603 Dustan Loop, Clarkston.
4. “Be Square” Artistic Challenge — Friday and Saturday
More than 400 pieces of original work by local artists goes on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Creative Shop, an artisan co-op in Morgans’ Alley in downtown Lewiston. The show is a preview for a Saturday sale marking Small Business Saturday when small businesses nationwide encourage shoppers to buy local for the holidays.
Fifteen artists created 15 pieces over a 15-day period for “Be Square,” named for the 8-inch by 8-inch squares the mixed media works were created on. An opening reception from 4-6 p.m. Friday will feature wine and hors d’oeuvres. Works will be for sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the gallery at 301 Main St., Suite 101. Each piece is $30, not including tax.
The co-op and challenge are led by Kelsey Grafton and Myndie VanHorn Kernan. Grafton started a small artists’ co-op two years ago and the group recently expanded. Grafton says the co-op and the challenge are designed to help fuel the area’s arts scene.
“I think artists working with artists helps raise the bar,” Grafton says.
During Saturday’s sale families are invited to join carolers from Abuzz Theatre at noon and 4 p.m. at Brackenbury Square. The carolers will sing their way down Main Street ending up at the Orchid Room in Morgans’ Alley where Creative Shop members will serve free hot chocolate.
5. Saturday: 2013 Hells Canyon Boat Club Lighted Boat Parade
Boats decked out in holiday lights can be viewed from the levies of the Snake River Saturday night.
The annual parade, sponsored by the Hells Canyon Boat Club, will start at 4:30 p.m. near the Swallows Park boat launch on the Clarkston side of the river. Boats will proceed north along the Washington shoreline to the Interstate (Blue) Bridge where they turn and head south along the Idaho shoreline to Hells Gate State Park. They will then return to Swallows Park.
6. Friday-Saturday: Christmas in Dayton
Billing itself as “the town that still believes,” Dayton, Wash., throws a grand celebration Friday and Saturday at its annual Christmas Kickoff. Mule-drawn carriages pull riders around town while carolers sing and shops serve holiday treats. Santa and other holiday characters roam Main Street greeting children. Be on the watch for a camel and three wise men. There are wine tastings, live music and art shows. For children there are art activities and free cartoons at the Liberty Theater. The Dayton Depot features a Christmas Market. The historic Boldman House is made over for a Victorian Christmas. Buses take riders on a lighted home tour where they can vote on the best displays. Friday night features fireworks over the county courthouse while Saturday evening is a lighted Christmas parade on Main Street. Dayton is 66 miles west of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.
A complete schedule can be found at: www.historicdayton.com.