Brian Mittge: Celebrate the holidays by giving back


You know what makes the most wonderful time of the year even better? Getting out and getting together as you give back to our community. 

There are a lot of ways to do that in the weeks ahead. 

Singalong Messiah

When George Handel finished writing “The Messiah” after 25 frenetic days, he said, “I think God has visited me.”

Every time I hear or sing his remarkable creation, especially the oratorio’s resounding finale, “The Hallelujah Chorus,” I have to agree. 

The power of music is perhaps never stronger than when you’re among hundreds of people singing one of the finest works of music ever created on this earth. You’ll have that opportunity at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon (Saturday) at the Singalong Messiah at the Chehalis Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

An orchestra and choir will perform around you. You can sing along (or just listen) and be transported by the music of the spheres. God just might visit you, too. 

Camas Planting

One of the prettiest native plants in our part of the world is the camas lily. It’s not only gorgeous, but it has historically been an important food source for the native people of this region. 

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s natural resources department and the Cowlitz Wellness Garden will be hosting their third-annual camas-planting party on Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gospodor Monument Park west of Toledo. (Can’t find it? Look for the crazy metal tubes arising from the prairie on, you guessed it, Camas Road). They’ll have a hot lunch and a bonfire with s’mores. 

You’re asked to RSVP at Send questions to

Help students through Washington Business Week 

One of the great challenges of our age is for all of us as adults to help young people understand how they can find a good, constructive place in this big world around them. 

One of the many quality programs doing just that is Washington Business Week — and did you know that Lewis County has one of the biggest Business Week programs in the state? 

Later this month they’ll have hundreds of local teenagers running their own mock businesses. It’s a great learning experience — but they need our help. 

A key part of Business Week is that adults serve as company advisors and as judges. 

“Come and witness the incredible efforts, passion, and creativity of the students and ‘invest’ in their projects as they talk to you about all they have learned and achieved during Business Week,” said Naomi Robb of Kiddin’ Around, one of the groups supporting Washington Business Week here in Lewis County. 

This program won’t cost you a penny — just a few hours or days of your time Dec. 11-14 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t work all week as a company advisor, they could use you as a “shark tank” judge Dec. 14.

That investment will pay off in our young people in all sorts of good ways we can’t even imagine. Talk about a great Christmas gift to give!

Register at 

Christmas caroling

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer,” according to Buddy the human elf, “is singing loud for all to hear.”

Whether or not you are a fan of the movie “Elf,” the truth of his statement can’t be denied. 

The Centralia Downtown Association is looking for Christmas carolers to help make the season bright. They’re hoping for carolers to sing at the Pine Street Plaza at 5 p.m. each Friday night for their “Late ‘Til 8” Friday evening shopping program. Show up and sing if you’re so inclined. Maybe I’ll see you there one of these evenings. 

If you want to connect with some other carol aficionados, consider joining the Lewis County Christmas Carollers group on Facebook (with the double-L in Carollers.) To my knowledge Buddy the Elf hasn’t joined, but these folks definitely have his spirit. 

Dad joke of the week:

Q: Why did the Christmas carol singers bring along a ladder?
A: So they could reach the high notes!

Brian Mittge can be reached at Need some carol inspiration? Find all your favorites and a few new ones at