It's Starting to Look a Lot Like the Holidays
By Roy Cook
Holiday songs are in the air and smiles are on little faces. As a representative and apology of being one of, 'those darn men', we tried to get there early enough to be of service with the setting up of the tables and chairs. Juan Castellanos of the Indian Human Resource and Steve Gomez beat every one of us to the punch. We got there and it was done. So we became unofficial greeters and looked on as covered pots and large mixing bowls were carried in to the kitchen. We all enjoyed teasing and joking with the arriving community members. Many were in the spirit of the holiday and wore colorful theme clothes. Santa and his raindeer brought smiles and songs for the evenings festivities.

Organized activities were the responsibility of the community Gatherer: Esther Abrahano. She greeted the early attendees and introduced Rev. Marvin Abrams, Seneca. The Holiday Good News he brought is of the Birth in Bethlehem and the three wise men. His sermon message spoke to the Christmas season, be kind to one another.

Esther then introduced Wanda Cook, Seneca who spoke on the way she remembered the holidays back in her home with the Haudeshaunee. Her talk had a general theme on the strength of tribal women in traditional culture.

Holiday songs continued to be sung by Rev. Abrams and others as the evening continued. Anthony Gastellum, AIWA Sgt. at Arms, smudged the room and prayed over offerings from the feast

"It's time to eat. Elders first!" This announcment got every one on their feet and we formed a wiggly line to the food tables. Lots of tender, tasty, steaming hot and excellent holiday fare. I really look forward to those mystical and marvelous side dishes brought from home. We could recognize some of the serving containers and looked forward to tasting the dish. All were very delightful. As we were savoring the morsels bite by bite and the special moment of being in the greatest company on this hemisphere, Tribal Indian people, we noticed pies and cakes appearing on the tables. Boy, talk about taking up a notch!

At this same time, the youth under the direction of Paul Camacho began a reading on stage. They had selected a holiday theme and assigned parts for maximum participation. Last minute adjustments were completed to adapt the reading for those that were not there for unknown reasons. It was well received. Well presented and all applauded the group.Well done, thank you all for your group efforts and individual performances. We were also glad to hear the flute songs of Alex Ravenfeather. The special emotional quality of the traditional flute is always welcomed.

As the evening came toward the closing, Santa called up all the children to give out the Holiday bags of goodies. (Thank you, Native American Council). Of course, Santa also had some songs to sing and words of cheer for all. Others, naughty or nice, were also given a bag of treats. Lots and lots of bread, rolls and baked goods went home with the well wishers. Each table centerpiece went home with the elder that was sitting at that table. This Sunday evening gathering is the ah la mode topping on a weekend holiday pie. The Native American Council had their 7th annual Breakfast on the morning before. The Native American Women Circle had their Holiday Dance the night before. Mixed metaphors aside this was a nice evening to be in our Tribal community.

Aho, ho, ho, ho
be good, very good, Santa is on the way. Good night.
Photos and WebMaster: Ben Nance