Melissa Knapton and Nick Gerhardt

Kooskia Farmers’ Holiday Market organizer Melissa Knapton shows Nick Gerhardt her signature "micro-greens.”

CLEARWATER VALLEY -- It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… It’s December and it’s time to think about a Christmas tree. If you want to cut your own tree, here’s a few options for you. McFeron’s Family Christmas Tree Farm sells u-cut trees, any size for $30. They are located at 2665 Luke’s Gulch Road. (just cross the river at Stites and turn left, you will see it soon on the right.) Call 208-926-7301 or 208-553-5439. While you are in Stites, you may as well stop and check out the updated interior and new menu items at the Silver Dollar! If you want a blue spruce tree then head to 1580 Roby Road near Kamiah. They are selling trees for $25 each. Call 208-935-1220. If you want to make a day of it, you can buy a Christmas tree tag from your local Forest Service office in Kooskia or Kamiah (also Grangeville or Elk City). Tree permits are $5 each.

Martha Smith

Martha Smith checks out Pat's Crafty Corner table with a variety of clever needlecraft items, with profits going to help victims of human trafficking.

I stopped by the Kooskia Holiday Farmers’ Market last Saturday. A steady stream of people passed through, shopping, snacking and visiting a great variety of vendors at the 2nd annual Kooskia holiday Farmers’ Market. Melissa Knapton, market organizer, deserves a lot of credit for organizing the event. She appreciates the support from her husband, Brandon, and daughter, Emma. Knapton, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Freedom Fitness began the Kooskia Farmers’ Market in 2018 to increase opportunities for healthy eating, support local growers and artisans and to create a sense of community.

This weekend, Dec. 6-8, is the 2nd annual Olde-Fashioned Christmas celebration in Kamiah, a fund-raiser for the Teen Center. Friday night includes a lighted Christmas parade with parade lineup at 5 p.m. at the Kamiah sports complex. After the parade, Santa, soup and desserts at the American Legion Hall from 7-9 p.m. On Saturday the American Legion Hall will be filled with holiday activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. scheduled at different times throughout the day. Photo opportunities with Santa or a Christmas pony and carriage rides. Various arts and crafts from nativity mason jars to wreaths, snow globes, paintings, Christmas ornaments. Many activities are free, but some have costs for materials. Of course, various sweet treats- popcorn balls, sugar cookies, fudge and cocoa, plus roasted chestnuts. Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m., a pie social, festival of trees auction and live musical performances will be happening. The event ends Sunday morning with a turkey, ham and bacon shoot with BBQ at the Kamiah gun club. Call Upriver Youth Leadership at 208-743-0392, or for a detailed schedule go to www.upriveryouth.org .

Not to be outdone by the larger towns, both Clearwater and Harpster are planning their annual Christmas celebrations the weekend of Dec. 14 - 15. Dixie Lynn, my neighbor across Sears Creek, reports that the Clearwater IOOF (Oddfellows) Lodge is hosting their Christmas potluck, gift exchange and Bingo party on Saturday, Dec. 14. This event begins at noon and lasts until 3 p.m. The lodge will furnish meat and asks people to bring side dishes or desserts to round out the meal. The optional gift exchange is split by gender, with each woman bringing a gift for a woman and each man bringing a gift suitable for a man. Gifts should be a roughly $5 value with handmade gifts welcome. People wanting to play Bingo after lunch should bring a separate gift to add to the pile. Each time someone gets a “Bingo” they pick a wrapped gift from the table. Each subsequent Bingo winner can “steal” an opened gift or pick a new wrapped gift. Lynn reports the gift “stealing” can get a little rowdy. Anyone who lives in and around the Clearwater area is welcome to attend.

My favorite Christmas program of all, is the one closest to home. The Harpster Community Center (at the old schoolhouse) welcomes you to the Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. This event has been happening for 40-plus years. It’s a pretty sweet program, with musical entertainment, sing-alongs, the Christmas story, musical acts from the audience, visit from Santa and a cookie exchange. Audience members are invited to sign up to perform a song. I’ve been threatening to sing a song, this may be the year. I’m the one who sang a solo at my own wedding! People of all ages from Harpster and surrounding areas are welcome. All attendees will receive a gift bag from Santa!

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