Reporter Matthew Nash’s boys ready to enjoy some gingerbread cookies made and personalized by neighbors for Christmas. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Reporter Matthew Nash’s boys ready to enjoy some gingerbread cookies made and personalized by neighbors for Christmas. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Reporter’s Notebook: A community Christmas

“Santa Claus is coming to Sequim,” I sing.

“It’s coming to TOWN, dad!” my 6-year-old clarifies.

“Well, Sequim is a city because … ” I begin.

“DAD!” my boys interrupt.

We’ve definitely been in the Christmas spirit for quite some time. Pandemics will do that to you.

In my part of town (or the city), lights went up right after Halloween.

The adage, “it gets sooner and sooner” rang true, but I wasn’t quick to judge. It’s been a tough year and if Christmas lights or an inflatable candy cane help someone get through this, then light it up Clark Griswold style.

My family has been blessed to spend more time together than ever. We’ve stayed healthy, employed and in good spirits with my ratio of dad of jokes increasing daily.

Recently, I went to Carrie Blake Community Park to snap photos of the meal bag distribution for Christmas time. I made a comment empathizing for those in-need, and Andra Smith, the Sequim Food Bank executive director, put it in perspective for me.

“We’re lucky to have this available,” she said.

And looking back at what our community has done since the pandemic began, it’s truly come together in extraordinary ways: mask making and coverings by the thousands, encouragement cards for those unable to leave home, increased support for local businesses, tons upon tons of food distributed, and so much more.

We’ve lost many traditions and activities temporarily because of COVID-19, but that love for each other remains. This sounds full-on sappy, but the community is the culprit. I find myself weepy because of your good will. Keep it up!

Oh, and another shout out to my neighbors for making another holiday special for my boys. A couple dropped off a pair of homemade gingerbread men with my boys’ names stenciled nicely on each cookie. The cookies didn’t last long, but those personal touches and moments of care go on.

Thank you neighbors and thank you Sequim!

Santa in the slammer

With an abundance of Christmas cheer and some extra time, we’ve gotten in the habit of watching more Christmas movies than in past years. One trend I noticed is that Santa Claus and/or protagonists get thrown in jail a lot. If they’re not in jail, a warrant or an officer is looming.

Santa goes to jail in “Miracle on 34th Street,” “The Santa Clause,” “The Christmas Chronicles” and even “Ernest Saves Christmas.”

Buddy goes to jail in “Elf” and law enforcement are looking for George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Griswolds in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and Kevin McCallister for stealing a toothbrush in “Home Alone.”

There must be some deep-seeded commentary in there about humanity’s distrust of Kris Kringle and benevolence. As the audience, we know Santa is the real Santa, or he didn’t do a certain crime.

But I offer some advice for future Christmas filmmakers: go easy on jolly ol’ Saint Nick.

The pandemic has required all sorts for the jolly man with masks preventing him from eating more cookies, and taking awkward selfie family photos while 6-feet apart.

As an alternative to Santa being booked in movies, here are a few alternative story lines:

• Dasher the reindeer is caught going 600 in a 25 mph zone, and Santa has to rescue him from the pound. There Santa helps show a veterinarian how to love again. They resuscitate a cow together after it has complications from birth.

• An elf is caught trying to replace a toy in a store he accidentally broke in Santa’s workshop. He is arrested but gains a romantic interest in the female guard who lost her dog on Christmas one year ago. Together they find love and the dog. Twist ending: the dog sniffed its way to find the guard’s long-lost dad.

• Santa is disappointed in one elf’s lack of Christmas spirit, so he sends the elf to Los Angeles for community service. There he befriends a pickpocket named Quick Time and the pair learn the true meaning of Christmas with each stolen wallet and purse.

So if you see these on a cable channel in the coming years, think of this column.

To end, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and happy New Year, Sequim!

Reach reporter Matthew Nash at

Matthew Nash is a Sequim Gazette reporter.

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