How to give meaningful gifts for Christmas

December 25, 2012

Christmas is fast approaching, and some of us are feeling stuck regarding what to get our friends and family for the big holiday.

Madeline Wells
Issaquah High School

Before you give up and grab the nearest gift card, stop and think. Wouldn’t it be great to receive a truly meaningful gift? It’s the thought that counts, right?

You may recall the cute, handmade gifts you made for your parents for Christmas when you were little. Giving meaningful gifts when you’re older is just like that, just maybe minus the artistic skills of a 5-year-old. Here’s how to give a gift that means a lot:

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Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive is 45 percent under goal

December 25, 2012

The all-volunteer organization Issaquah Community Services provided more than $88,000 in assistance to local families last year, in the form of rent and utility assistance, or emergency aid.

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Expect reduced transit service on Christmas

December 23, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012

Expect reduced transit service from Christmas Eve until after 2013 arrives, as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit adjust schedules for the holidays.

Metro Transit operates on holiday and reduced weekday schedules Christmas week and during the New Year’s holidays.

The agency operates on reduced weekday bus service Monday, Christmas Eve, and on a Sunday schedule for Christmas. Then, transit goes to reduced weekday bus service from Wednesday to Friday.

Using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January is estimated to save Metro Transit about $1 million each year. The agency typically experiences a drop of about 15 percent in ridership during the holiday week.

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Eastside Fire & Rescue offers safety tips after holiday-related fires

December 23, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters have responded to blazing involving holiday decorations and Christmas trees as the holiday approaches.

Decorations can increase the chances of fire and with the holiday only days away, agency officials asked the public to keep fire safety in mind when decorating and entertaining.

The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when fire occurs.

Based on data from the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration, about 240 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights, unattended candles and other holiday decorations occur each year.

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Walmart invites Issaquah students to ‘Shop with a Cop’

December 18, 2012

First grader Cyrus Comia, 7, one of 10 Issaquah Valley Elementary School students on the ‘Shop with a Cop’ outing, takes toys to a cart as Issaquah Police Sgt. Jeff Johnson helps keep him on his gift-card budget. Comia also bought some socks for his grandmother. By Greg Farrar

In what was a scene straight out of a schoolyard ballfield, 10 officers from the Issaquah and Bellevue police departments stood in a line just waiting to get picked.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah helps during hardships all year

December 18, 2012

Sudden hardships can expose people reeling from the effects of the fragile economy to even more risk — financial trouble, utility shutdowns and, in extreme cases, homelessness.

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Children unravel mysteries of Santa Claus

December 18, 2012

Santa Claus, the elves and his reindeer are busily putting on the finishing touches of what is sure to be an exciting holiday season.

He’s been hard at work making toys, reading his mail and recording last-minute Christmas wishes from Issaquah boys and girls at the Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah Commons and Gilman Village.

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Seniors share holiday traditions, memories

December 18, 2012

When asked what their favorite holiday memory is, most people will say spending time with loved ones. Dig a little deeper and the holidays are home to a whole score of memories.

Al Watenpaugh, 85, still remembers one Christmas present in particular. Around age 10, he went feeling around under the Christmas tree, trying to see if he could suss out what surprises the gift-wrapped packages held. Feeling around, his fingers moved across a shape that was unmistakable.

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Christmas concert benefits Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank

December 18, 2012

Christmas revelers can listen to holiday music and benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank as Abide Bible Church hosts a benefit concert for the nonprofit organization.

The event is meant to collect food for the food bank and raise awareness about the organization’s mission. The concert is open to the public, and organizers ask attendees to bring a food donation for admission.

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Editorial

December 18, 2012

Make Christmas about giving to those in need

The excitement of Christmas is here … the reindeer at Cougar Mountain Zoo are being harnessed to guide Santa’s sleigh, the last-minute stocking stuffers and eggnog have been bought, the silver has been polished for the dinner table, and the church choir is ready for the candlelight service.

But here and there — in apartments, homes and homeless campsites — if you look closely, you’ll see some families with furrowed brows.

Forget Christmas. This single mom, widowed senior and unemployed dad are too busy worrying about next month’s rent. A decorated tree, presents tied with bows and a festive dinner are not going to happen.

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