Don’t let the holiday season pass you by
by Ed Wendell
Dec 10, 2019 | 639 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mike and Sandy Bilski helped Santa and Mrs. Claus make a spectacular entrance in a classic Mercury Comet.
Mike and Sandy Bilski helped Santa and Mrs. Claus make a spectacular entrance in a classic Mercury Comet.
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Pictured from from left to right at the annual tree-lighting ceremony are WRBA President Stephen Forte, James Mongeluzo from the Comptroller’s Office, Larry, Josephine Wendell, Edward Wendell, Martin Colberg, Janet Forte, Giedra Kregzdys, Marge Augilera, WBID executive director Raquel Olivares and CB9 Chair Kenichi Wilson.
Pictured from from left to right at the annual tree-lighting ceremony are WRBA President Stephen Forte, James Mongeluzo from the Comptroller’s Office, Larry, Josephine Wendell, Edward Wendell, Martin Colberg, Janet Forte, Giedra Kregzdys, Marge Augilera, WBID executive director Raquel Olivares and CB9 Chair Kenichi Wilson.
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December may have 31 days, but it always feels like the fastest month. It seems like just yesterday it was Halloween and Thanksgiving was still a month away. But even then, signs of Christmas were starting to pop up (to the irritation of many).

Quickly, Thanksgiving was upon us and we started to hear the Christmas songs on the radio. More and more storefronts began sporting decorations.

We even saw a fair number of houses putting up their Christmas decorations in November. And, as expected, more people were irritated. “Stop rushing the season,” they scream.

But the minute Thanksgiving is over the next four weeks fly past. Every time you look up at the calendar or date another check, a few more days have slipped past.

Those who decorate early aren’t rushing the season; the Christmas season is in a rush all by itself, like a giant wave. Some people just like to get a head start because they know how fast it goes by.

Or maybe they just like the holiday. Maybe it makes them happy and 31 days of Christmas isn’t enough for them. With all the worries and hardship in the world, I’m happy to see more people wanting to extend a joyful season.

One of my favorite parts about Christmas in Woodhaven is all of the holiday events and parties. The tree lighting the other night was fantastic. Raquel Olivares and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District put on a great show.

I was especially happy to see Santa and Mrs. Claus make a grand entrance in a classic car - a Mercury Comet - all decorated for the show. It was a spectacular moment in the middle of a great evening.

The car was brought to us that evening by Mike and Sandy Bilski, who regular readers of this column will be familiar with.

Last November, we brought you the story of Mike, who in desperation to locate a kidney for his wife Sandy, turned his everyday vehicle into a moving billboard pleading for help.

Long story short, since that time Sandy received a new kidney and less than a year later they were ushering in Santa and Mrs. Claus at Woodhaven’s tree lighting.

They are good people - they’ve been involved with the East Coast Car Association raising money for St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital for years - and it’s been a hard year. We thank them for thinking of us at this time of year.

The students from PS 97 came out and put on a great show for everyone in attendance while Principal Marilyn Custodio looked on proudly. As a former student of PS 97 (50 years ago), I was also proud to see the kids performing on Forest Parkway.

Quite often during our historical society meetings, we’ll hear childhood remembrances from our seniors about things they did at school when they were young.

I hope that 70 years from now, these young students will look back fondly on the night they sang and danced on Forest Parkway before Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in a Mercury Comet.

And the next day, we were happy to watch the annual Santa Parade, back after a one-year hiatus. Thanks to Lisa Komninos and the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation for keeping this great local tradition alive.

The next few weeks will be full of holiday parties. The Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society will hold theirs on Wednesday the 18th at 1 p.m., and the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association holds theirs at noon on Saturday, December 21. Both parties will be held at Emanuel United Church of Christ at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard. Everyone is invited.

The rest of the month will fly past quickly, but I hope to see all of you at one of the local parties or holiday events or even just walking on the avenue. Merry Christmas everyone!

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