BY MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY AND PATRICIA DUFF
Whidbey Life Magazine
The best part about the holidays is creating your own brand of holiday traditions and customs. After nearly eight years on Whidbey, I can’t deny that my family’s traditions are heavily shaped by island life and our artistic community.
My daughter Ava was born the day after watching Whidbey Island Dance Theater’s “Nutcracker” in 2007, and she has not missed a show since. She does not know that the Whidbey production differs from the traditional take on the Tchaikovsky’s ballet.
We have also never missed Langley tree lighting, including Santa’s visit as he welcomes children flanked by Whidbey’s very own Christmas alpacas. Again, my children think that alpacas are a natural part of the Christmas scene, and I like it that way.
I have received the most interesting Christmas presents from my husband, who suffers from the Christmas shopping procrastination syndrome – ranging from tiny glass mice to gorgeous handcrafted jewelry. All things I never knew I wanted until they became a fixture at my home.
During this time of the year, the uniqueness and individualism of our local stores, galleries and independent artists light up the grey winter skies for me.
There is something for just about everyone on your list with countless gift shows, welcoming merchants with their festively decorated stores (and raffles!), crafts fairs and theater productions in full swing throughout the holiday season.
Santa Claus himself would be happy to shop and entertain himself on Whidbey Island and his reindeer could hang out with the alpacas!
“YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!”
Here it is again, folks, for your shopping and entertainment convenience. Check this handy guide for holiday happenings all around Whidbey Island, including where to get great gifts and fun cultural stuff that includes music, dance, theater and merry revelry!
- Dec. 15- Dec. 16: “The Nutcracker,” presented by Whidbey Island Dance Theatre at South
Whidbey High School Auditorium.
- Dec. 15, 16, 21, 22: “Willy Wonka” at Whidbey Island Children’s Theater in Langley.
- Dec. 16: “Laud to the Nativity”with the Whidbey Chamber Singers in the sanctuary
Langley United Methodist Church.
- Dec. 16: “Slaphappy! Holiday Concert” at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.
- Dec. 14 and 15: “Scrooge! The Musical” at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley.
- Dec. 15, 16, 21, 22: “Fruitcakes” at Whidbey Playhouse, Oak Harbor.
GIFT SHOWS FOR LOCAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING
- Pacific Northwest Art School Holiday Gift Show: Pop into the lobby of the school at 15 NW Birch St in Coupeville and see an array of gifts offered by local artists, as well as a chance to win a gift basket through Dec. 22. Email email@example.com to find out hours or visit www.pacificnorthwestartschool.org.
- Bayview Holiday Market: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays Dec. 15 and 22, at Bayview Community Hall at Bayview Corner. This year features two floors of great locally grown and produced gifts.
- Holiday Market at Greenbank Farm: Holiday Markets will be held the first four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and 16. Enjoy holiday music and warm beverages, while perusing quality handmade products produced locally. Santa will be on hand Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m.
- Holiday Market on Pioneer Way: Unique holiday gifts are for sale by local arts and crafts vendors on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 16.
- Made on Whidbey: An annual gathering of an eclectic group of Whidbey Island artists showcase their recent fine art and gift creations at Coupeville Recreation Hall in downtown Coupeville Dec. 15 and 16. Items include watercolor; mixed media; jewelry in silver and lampwork glass; metal signs, yard art and sculpture; photography; encaustics; fiber; quilting; turned wood; and linocut prints.
BUY SOMETHING THAT WILL CREATE A MEMORY OR AN HEIRLOOM
Buy something that will still mean something years from now. Create a memory; buy some art. When you see the look on their face, you’ll be glad you did.
- “The Art of Giving” at MUSEO, on First Street in downtown Langley will run through December and features favorably-priced smaller works by gallery artists. Artists featured are Connie Anthon, Danielle Bodine, Denise Brunberg, Jodi Cable, Keke Cribbs, Gordy Edberg, Larry Halvorsen, Katrina Hude, Kim Kelzer, Patti King, Meredith MacLeod, DH McNabb, Callahan McVay, Brian O’Neill, Inge Roberts, Anne Smidt and Teri Jo Summer.
- Artworks Gallery at Greenbank farm features a special selection of artist’s cards for the holidays through December. These cards have handmade, one-of-a-kind-designs or feature images by one of the Artworks’ artists.
- Raven Rocks Gallery at Greenbank Farm presents “Finding Balance,” new work by photographer, printer and experimenter Joe Menth is on display at the gallery, which also features work by a stable of artists who make small pieces that are perfect for holiday shopping, including special holiday bells! Go in and take a look.
- Rob Schouten Galleryat Greenbank Farm is showing “Home for the Holidays” – glass, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, encaustics, ceramics, fiber arts, giclée prints and cards in an affordable price range by 24 gallery artists. Runs through Jan. 1.
- Brackenwood Gallery on First Street in Langley presents its annual “Small Pleasures” show through December. Almost all their artists are bringing in special offerings for this show with the caveat that the price be under $500. We encourage you to think about giving the gift of art this year. Consider looking for accessories for that holiday outfit in the gallery as well. Art is unique, fun, crafted by creative hands and a treasure to receive.
- Christina’s Real Estate and Fine Art Gallery just off Main Street in Freeland across from the Payless shopping center features lots of sweet gifts by local artists. Stop by the office and gallery to check out the array of treasures.
- Galeria Chiropractica in Bayview presents The ChromoAlchemy Holiday 2012 Exhibit featuring Kim Tinuviel’s Abstract Impressionistic Photography. Take a look at the artist’s work here and also at Brackenwood Gallery in Langley.
Galeria Chiropractica is located in the Bayview Sears House at 2812 Meinhold Road in Langley and the show will be on display through Jan. 31. Viewing times outside of opening celebration is on an appointment-preferred drop-in basis. Please call 331-5565 to schedule.
- Whidbey Art Gallery on Second Street in Langley is an artist-run gallery and presents “Art under $100” through December, promising great treasures at reasonable prices.
- Garry Oak Gallery on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor has gifts for all pocket books, including hand made original ornaments and holiday cards.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING AND DRAWINGS
Langley Main Street Association hosts “Deck Your Doors” where more than 50 Langley merchants will have their doors and store fronts decorated to ring in the season. Deck Your Doors is a fundraiser for Good Cheer Food Bank. Visitors can vote with pennies at participating stores for their favorite door, to create the “Plum Puddin’ Pennies” that will be donated in the name of the winning store after the contest ends on Sunday, Dec. 23. Winners will be announced at noon on Sunday, Dec. 23 at Boy & Dog Park on First Street. The donation to Good Cheer will be made in the name of the winning business.
Langley Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Holiday Cheer Giveaway where one lucky shopper will win $1,000 for supporting Langley’s businesses. Spend just $20 and you’re entered into the giveaway and every $20 spent with participating businesses gets you another white giveaway ticket. The giveaway runs through Saturday, Dec. 22, when at 3 p.m. the winning ticket will be drawing at Boy & Dog Park on First Street. Winners must be 18 years of age and present at the drawing to win. Tickets can be donated to local non-profit organizations, but a representative from the organization must be present at the drawing.
Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association hosts its annual Red Ticket Drawing for local shoppers. Shop, dine and stay in Coupeville with more than 30 merchants participating and be eligible to win $1,000 cash prize or three $100 cash prizes at the Sunday, Dec. 23 drawing at 1 p.m. in front of the Island County Historical Museum. Winners must be present to accept prizes. All prizes that go unclaimed will be donated to a local nonprofit by the merchants. Find out all about Coupeville’s shop local extravaganza here. Also, check out this comprehensive schedule of holiday happenings in around Coupeville and Greenbank.
The Downtown Merchants Association of Oak Harbor has its final weekend of the Holiday Market on Pioneer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 16 . All local artists and crafters can be found by following the signs along SE Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor. One location is next to Angelo’s Cafe and the other is next to Glamorous and across the street from the Mermaid Sculpture.
Join the raffle in the Green Ticket Cash Give Away. For every $20 spent at participating merchants, get a chance to win $500 cash; the drawing is at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Participants must be present to win. Drawing will take place in the Harborside Village Mall.