Letter from the President – December 2021

by Erin McGann, Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane County
EWI of Spokane Chapter President

As I sit writing this article, it’s a quiet, foggy winter morning. Houses are shrouded in a dense cloud cover and there is a calm over my neighborhood. Though Scotland is thousands of miles away from Spokane, I feel like I’ve finally found Brigadoon (a reference my old school movie lovers will understand). It’s peaceful. Thanksgiving has passed and lights are starting to adorn more and more homes with each passing day. I love this time of year: Hallmark movies, cozy jammies, and hot cocoa.

My house is quiet. Well at least it was. From another room, I hear tiny noises which seem to grow louder as I get closer. When I enter the room I find my two boys, ages 8 and 20, sitting amongst our boxes of Christmas decorations, hysterically giggling, and laughing; about what, I don’t know.

Now, the two couldn’t be more different. My 20-year-old stepson lives in Seattle, is in college, has a job, has a love interest, needs to have the coolest clothes, engages in what seems like 100 different social media platforms, and can’t wait to turn 21. My 8-year-old, here in Spokane, knows who the best kick ball players are at school, wants to know when summer break is, refuses to wear long pants regardless of temperature, still believes in Santa, and is happiest when his brother is home.

With holiday music on, we start to unpack the boxes. Each decoration seems to inspire a memory. It’s like an old friend has returned. Right then, the differences in age and interests fades away, and the feeling of hope, of traditions, of family, of magic, surges through my home. For a short time, all of us are together under one household, and I feel centered and at peace.

Everyone’s version of what the holidays mean to them is unique and special. The look, the feel, the memories, and traditions; we all celebrate in a different way, and that’s how it should be. It’s personal and brings us back to what matters most to us. That is the beauty of the season.

As the night falls, and we finish decorating, I realize darkness has consumed the fog cover. In the distance I see hundreds of lights—white lights and color lights; some static, some flickering—but all of them harmoniously and beautifully cutting through the darkness to shine brightly together. And in that moment I feel inspired and hopeful that the spirit of the season lives in each and every one of us.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful season filled with true holiday magic.