As Christmas shoppers storming the outlets on the Friday after Thanksgiving have given the day the name of “Black Friday”, Becker has developed its very own hometown tsunami of Holiday celebrations on December’s first Saturday, with three very special traditions.
Busy Morning On Becker’s “Black Saturday”
The first, and the oldest, is the annual “Cookie Walk” at the Becker United Methodist Church on Hancock Street. The ladies of the congregation spend long hours in their kitchens, crafting some amazingly intricate cookies, including some hand-made wreaths, chocolate-covered cherry Christmas mice, and a host of other traditional favorites that are displayed on long tables in the church basement.
New Pastor Diane Nelson awaited her first Cookie Walk with a degree of anxiety, having heard some (possibly enhanced) tales of the fervor of the cookie buyers and the controlled chaos of the annual event, which is also the major fund-raiser for the church. After leading the assembled volunteers in prayer, the doors were opened promptly at 9:01 a.m., and the first wave of buyers flooded into the basement, bearing large Tupperware® containers and one plastic glove on their “selecting hand”.
At the same time, just down the street at the Becker Community Center, the parking lot was full to overflowing as kids and parents braved the frosty morning temperatures for the annual Breakfast with Santa Claus event.
Santa arrived on the Becker Fire Dept’s big ladder truck, his traditional mode of transport when making his pre-Christmas visit to Becker each year (making a list, etc.). Once indoors, the members of the Becker Lions Club manned the kitchen facilities at BCC, serving up an excellent breakfast that was enjoyed by kids of all ages, with the Girl Scouts again taking on the task of bussing tables all morning.
Once breakfast was done, parents and kids joined the very long line to get their portion of face time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Singly and in groups, the youngsters came up to tell the North Pole pair of their Christmas wishes, and to receive a candy cane and other gifts as part of the celebration.
In another portion of the building, the Becker PTSA was conducting their annual Holiday boutique, where kids could shop for gifts for their friends and family members, with prices adjusted to meet the ability of the modern allowance.
And a little further down the road, the Sherburne History Center was hosting its annual Christmas program, which included craft and ornament making, cookies and hot chocolate, and a selection of Classic Christmas song performed by the Command Performance choirs from Elk River.
And, as always, the program was capped off by a visit from Santa Claus. The jolly old elf was really making the rounds in Becker and the surrounding area last Saturday, making use of the old North Pole magic that allows him to bend time and space (making it possible for him to deliver gifts around the world each Christmas Eve).