Sharing Is Part of the Holiday Season

Written by: Rodney Wilson
Col. Daniel Hoadley addresses attendees of the Downtown Minot Christmas Open House
and the official tree lighting ceremony.
Dyess Media photos

From the stage of the Christmas Open House in downtown Minot, Mayor Tom Ross asked for a cheer from those in the audience that were from Minot Air Force Base. It was certainly hard to say exactly how many folks responded, but there were a significant number.

Joining the Mayor on stage were several of the command team and their families including Col Daniel Hoadley, Col Benjamin Jensen, Col George Chapman and CMSGT Josh Sanders.

Prior to the official lighting of the Downtown Christmas Tree, there were Christmas carols and other music from the holiday season.

The evening was a bit brisk, but everyone was dressed warm for the event, right down to little Jacob Jensen who was proud to show me his warm snow pants, jacket and gloves. There were certainly a lot of rosy cheeks and warm smiles as we waited for the Christmas Tree at the end of main street to finally come alive with lights.

The Downtown Business and Professional Association has always started the Christmas season with the lighting of the tree, and we have shared the event with our neighbors to the north at Minot Air Force Base. Downtown Minot has always been a Christmas destination for events, eating and shopping. My first trip to downtown Minot was some 45 years ago when I, like many of the young adults at Minot Air Force Base, would experience that first year away from home and family. Downtown Minot seemed to have that “at home” feeling, albeit I came from a much small rural town, but the friendly welcome when you entered a store and the smile that gave you the warmth of Christmas as you walked between stores to complete your shopping list.

I think the message shared from the stage by Mayor Ross, Col Hoadley and the others who would take their turn welcoming the crowd to the event, was that of friendship and community. There isn’t much we can do about the weather, and the day after Thanksgiving can definitely challenge those who may have arrived during the summer and only heard about the weather ahead, but we can always share the warmth with each other.

Great News
The Barksdale Trophy is coming back to Minot. Established in 2017, the Barksdale is awarded for outstanding community support for the base and airmen. Minot first won the trophy in 2019. A community cannot win the trophy 2 years in a row, but communities can win it several times. To win the Barksdale Trophy a community must submit a 100 page application that highlights events sponsored by the community. One of those events was the annual Christmas Open House.

Home for the Holidays
I caught up with Mayor Tom Ross who informed me that the Home for the Holidays campaign raised over $120,000.00 and with those funds will send over 115 Airmen home for the holidays. Mayor Ross shares “What better way to showcase the very best of the Magic City and even the support from all of North Dakota. Tickets for Home for the Holidays were sold in every corner of the state. The satisfaction of giving these Airmen the opportunity to be home with their families during the holidays is an opportunity many of us take for granted. I am very proud of our community, not surprised…very proud.”

Best Kept Secrets
Many people ask me “what can I give my friends and relatives that is from North Dakota?” The best answer is to tell them about the web site that has a list of products that originate in North Dakota. There are several stores that feature many of these products, and yes, they are truly from North Dakota. Look for the Pride of Dakota seal and know you are giving quality for Christmas.

Today’s “Christmas” Chuckle
How do you wish a dog Merry Christmas? Feliz Navi-dog.

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