NASELLE - A sign, no, make that the surest sign, that the Christmas season is rapidly approaching is when a large star appears. That local star is on the Hundis barn, just off SR 4 near the North Valley Road in Naselle. The star has again made its annual appearance and its presence is as much of an indication that Christmas is nearly here as is any other indication of the season.
Travel any of the highways and side roads in the Naselle area and one is sure to see many homes decorated and lighted for the season.
Just to mention a few of the homes that can be viewed in a short drive: the home of Wilho and Kaisa Saari on Knappton Road; the home of Jack and Renee Smith on Parpala Road; the home of Greg and Karen Wirkkala which can be seen from the Naselle River Bridge on SR 401; the old Hundis home across SR 4 from the Hundis Barn star, and now owned by Jon and Megan Tienhaara; a number of homes near the Naselle Clinic and beyond on North Valley Road; the home of oysterman Jim Stackhouse which has a large lighted outline of an oyster dredge featured in the display on North Valley Road; the home of Phil and Anita Raistakka which can be seen from the Upper Naselle Road; the homes of Dave and Kristi Leeland and Cliff and Kaye Weimer on the Salmon Creek cross-over road; the home of Brad and Rhonda Warra on upper Salmon Creek Road; and coming back west on SR 4, the homes of Mike and Sis Gilbert; Dan and Allene Edmondson; and of Lillian Whitten, which has one of the nicest lighted non-traditional Christmas trees to be viewed, near the South Valley Road intersection with SR 4.
Five of those homes were featured in the Naselle Finnish-American Folk Festival Association annual Tour of Homes held Sunday, Dec. 10, with over 100 people making the tour to view some or all of the homes.
The home tour followed the annual Christmas concert held at the Deep River Pioneer Lutheran Church. That concert featured performances by the Finn-Am Choir under the direction of Cliff Weimer and accompanied by Karen Nelson. Other performances were by the Naselle Kanteles, Wilho Saari, May Adair and Karen Nelson, and soloists Lisa Bighill, Kaisa Saari (in Finnish), Cliff Weimer and Carl Wirkkala.
Anna Ehrlund opened the program to the audience of 60 people by giving a brief history of the church and she acknowledged the memory of the founders of the church by reading the memorial plaque which is on display in the church.
The day's events concluded with the Lutheran Ladies soup supper at the Naselle Lutheran Church. Twelve different kinds of soups, homemade breads, and a chocolate dessert "fountain" were enjoyed by the large group. Francy Penttila reported that $376 was raised by the soup supper which will go to support the Deep River Pioneer Church. She also wished to thank the many people who helped and donated to the supper as well as those who attended the event.
A number of Christmas-related activities will occur in the next two weeks. One of the eagerly anticipated events will be the annual concert at the school on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. The program will feature students from all grade levels.
All of the local churches will be holding programs and Christmas services at various times from now through Christmas Day.
The Naselle branch of The Bank of the Pacific has an "Angel Tree" in the lobby which has the names of local Naselle-Grays River Valley area boys and girls from the ages of two months to 18 years who are in danger of not having much of a Christmas without the good will of people of the area.
Citizens are asked to go into the bank and pick a name of a child or two, purchase and wrap the presents and return them to the bank for distribution by the Naselle Lutheran Church by no later then Tuesday, Dec. 19. Call Debbie Littlefield for more information.