President’s Message, December 2018

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Orinda is Bright and Beautiful

    Let’s kick off December with a Shop Orinda Day! Our town is beautiful and full of good things to do! In the morning on Dec. 1, thank the Orinda Garden Club for hanging wreaths around town. Both sides of town will be busy with holiday shopping and entertainment. Take the family on a walk around town, eat some lunch, and buy or win some holiday gifts. At 4 p.m., enjoy the Orinda Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony. Come to see cute singers from our schools and a beautiful tree of lights while also getting a photo with Santa. The Miramonte Winter Ball takes place later that evening. Thank you to parents and staff who create and host this beautiful event.
    Don’t forget the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, which begins Dec. 2 and runs through Dec. 10.
    Disability Day on Dec. 3 encourages a better understanding of people affected by a disability while promoting the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural. Disability Day encompasses all known disabilities, from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis.
    The Orinda Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party on Dec. 6 will bring local businesses together to toast out-going president Roy Hodgkinson and the team.
    Orinda Ballet Academy presents A Sweet Dream Nutcracker at the Orinda Library Theater Dec. 7-9. The dancers and their costumes are tops! And they have matinees times so every age can enjoy this show.
    International Children’s Day, on Dec. 8, is a joint initiative between UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (the Emmy Awards people). It’s a day when broadcasters “tune in to kids.”
    Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 was created by the United Nations 70 years ago to promote awareness of the importance of Human Rights issues around the world. Be grateful for your rights every day.
    Orinda Theatre loves the holiday season and will show the classic movie, A Christmas Story, free on Dec. 13. On Dec. 16 award winning Broadway and Cabaret star Karen Mason will be live on stage, part of the ongoing Live At the Orinda concert series.
    Dec. 13 is National Horse Day. Did you know that horses have healing powers? Equine therapists at Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center here in Orinda offer experiences for children with a wide range of disabilities in a safe and secure environment. We should also remember the economic, historic, and cultural contributions that horses have made. Free Shipping Day is Dec. 14, when online shopping slows down just before the middle of the month. Shoppers are afraid orders won’t be delivered in time for Christmas or there will be large shipping fees. This spurs online sales. Here at The Orinda Association, it is the last day we are collecting for our One Warm Coat drive.
    Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice, marks the beginning of winter and during the shortest day of the year, at 2:23 p.m. in Orinda, the sun begins its return to the northern hemisphere and every day forward will see more sun. Or better yet, it is also Ugly Christmas Sweater Day!! It’s a fashion statement, a fundraising opportunity, or both. I like my funky sweaters and will probably not part with them, but I have seen a few eyesores that need to be purchased off their owners.
    Dec. 21 is also Crossword Puzzle Day. Not only are they fun, but challenging crossword puzzles may help delay the effects of dementia and sharpen your brain for problem solving. In winter, they kept us busy when it got dark before TV and cell phones.
    I’m not sure how you could forget this date with all the advertising, but Christmas Day is, of course, Dec. 25. May this holiday season bring you peace, hope and friendship.
    New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, of course, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate National Champagne Day. Look back on this year and make a resolution to improve your life and the lives of those around you. Volunteer your time, donate your extra items and support our wonderful town. Remember, The Orinda Association is a non-profit organization: Use the enclosed envelope to renew your support of our programs which include The Orinda News, the July 4th Parade, Seniors Around Town, free public forums and the Volunteer Center. Wishing you a safe and healthy 2019!

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