Celebrate the End of the Year

claudia-polzinby Claudia Polzin
Consultant to Nonprofits

December can be a hectic month for many- we get all caught up in holidays and celebrations and everything that we think we are required to do. Perhaps this is the year that you take a step back and realize that the world will not come to an end if you don’t make 12 dozen cookies; and you don’t spend hours decorating and you actually take time to enjoy your family and friends and realize that special memories are created just by doing something together.

There are many opportunities to create a special memory – and many of them are not expensive – but just a wonderful time. So begin the month with the Naples Concert Band – opening the Holiday Season at the Sugden Plaza on Fifth. Holiday music, lighting of the grand tree, dancing groups and many community groups performing on 5th Avenue- take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the evening.

If you love the visual arts – you can find some exhibits that feature local artists. In our school system we have some very talented young people and during the month of December the West Wing Art Gallery of the Naples Regional Library on Central Avenue will be featuring the works of many of our high school students.

The Naples Art Association advocates for our local artists and during December and January – the Watson Gallery will present: Passionately Repurposed: Art from Recycled and Found Materials. It is true that one person’s trash is someone else’s treasure- and much of that treasure is presented in these art works that take many things that you might discard and turn them into a piece of art. Engage your imagination and explore how items you might have in your home or items you might have thrown out could have been used in a piece of art.

On December 4 – there is a special event at First PresbyterianChurch – at 4 p.m. the combined choirs of First Presbyterian and Vanderbilt Presbyterian will present their holiday concert. The holiday season is filled with music – religious, secular and lots of popular songs that celebrate the season.

December 4 – at 2 p.m. there is also another Naples Concert Band event in Cambier Park – they will feature soloists and quartets performing Holiday favorites – but if vocal holiday music is not your favorite – they will also have the Celtic Arts Academy Irish Dancers and a special performance by the tuba section.

Many residents do not know about the wonderful opportunity to be found at the Naples Art District – take this time on the first Wednesday of every month from 5 – 8 p.m. and explore two dozen galleries and artist studios. In case you are busy on Wednesdays- you can explore Art After Dark on the second Saturday of each month from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Galleries of Crayton Cove. More than 30 artisans and artists are represented within the five galleries that are open for Art After Dark.

This year very interestingly Christmas and Chanukah will be celebrated on December 25 – as a part of that celebration you can join the Chanukah Community celebration on December 26 at 5:45 p.m. at Mercato.

If you have not noticed – vocal music is one of my personal passions – and I’m pleased that we will have the opportunity to hear one of the preeminent professional vocal ensembles in the U.S. – Seraphic Fire. They will open their season on the west coast of Florida with a concert on December 13 at 7 p.m. at the Bower Chapel in Moorings Park – be sure not to miss: A Seraphic Fire Christmas: On Winter’s Night.

Enjoy December – but remember don’t make yourself crazy with all of the projects, baking, cooking and “stuff” we seem to think is required. Take time to enjoy where we live, the beauty of the season and your friends and family. See you in the New Year!

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