By this time those who live for sales have waited in the dark for doors at local malls and stores to open so they could rush forth and grab their own “must have” item for this holiday gift giving season.

Those who don’t want to hassle with the crowds might migrate to e-commerce and order gifts from the comfort of their sofas.

Regardless of what is happening in the world the holiday season will arrive and we will each celebrate according to our own tradition. Some traditions are steeped in the religiosity of the season—church services, being charitible to others, reveling in the warmth and spirit of the holiday—be it Christmas, Chaukah or Kwanzaa.

The season can be enjoyed even more when we look about us and partake in the events that mark the season. It doesn’t matter if one has children in school or even in arts programs in one of local schools. Salem-Keizer schools has some of the best arts programs anywhere and that is never so true as now.

McNary High School just came off the rousing success of its production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (a sell out).

The Whiteaker Middle School choir will join the Willamette Master Chorus for three performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria in December. We’re duly impressed by that—these are sixth, seventh and eigth graders joining professional-grade singers in a classicial concert.

Students from Keizer schools will be performing at the state capitol during the holidays. There will be singing at the annual Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 1.

If one wants their holiday season to take on a less ‘gimme’ mood, they should see our young people embody the spirit of the season whether they are a parent of a school child or not.

  —LAZ