CHRIS DUQUE — Time to celebrate Christmas in Nederland; opportunity to help others

Published 12:30 am Saturday, December 4, 2021

For many of us, the month of December is the happiest month of the year.

People celebrate important holidays, including Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Unfortunately, last year, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our community’s largest holiday events – the Christmas Parade and the Christmas on the Avenue event.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque

This year, we are happy to announce both events are returning this year. The City’s 12th Annual Christmas on the Avenue event is today (Dec. 4), and the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade is Tuesday.

Christmas on the Avenue is held on Boston Avenue between 13th St. and 17th St. from noon-6 p.m. There will be numerous activities for children and families, a wide variety of shopping opportunities at the local businesses, vendors on the street and various food and snack vendors.

At 6 p.m., all activities move to Tex Ritter Park for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m., and the parade route is from 21st St down Nederland Ave, turning onto N. 12th St, and turning on Boston Ave, and ending in front of Central Middle School.

In addition, the Nederland Economic Development Corporation is holding a Light Up Nederland Golf Cart Parade Dec. 14. While these events are important and part of our holiday traditions, the spirit of the holidays is more than lights, free candy and prizes.

Sadly, there are far too many people who struggle to feel the spirit and joy of the holidays. There are people without enough food on their table or without clothes, blankets and heaters for the winter.

There are children without any hope of a Christmas present. And there are senior citizens who are often forgotten at the holidays.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities for us to do our part to try to make someone’s holiday merry. The Community Care Prayer Outreach Center on Nederland Avenue accepts food, blankets and toys to help the less fortunate in Nederland.

CASA of Southeast Texas, Inc. organizes an event to provide presents to children in foster care.

“Be a Santa to a Senior” is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care to provide necessary items to local senior citizens.

Nutrition and Services for Seniors is holding a Share the Warmth event collecting new blankets for senior citizens.

There are also numerous local churches, non-profit organizations and local businesses that will be out during the month working to help the less fortunate.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is Santa Claus.

As a parent, it is also a concerning part because of your kids believing in Santa – are you too old to still believe?

Santa Claus is much more than Tim Allen in the SANTA CLAUSE or Ed Asner in ELF. Santa Claus embodies our children’s innocence and our faith in mankind’s generosity and compassion. As long as we are willing to help one another, Santa Claus will always be real.

I want to recognize and thank our City employees for their generosity to help the less fortunate.

In late November, a toy drive was hosted, and the City employees donated a plentiful number of new toys.

In December, the City will host a food drive, and we anticipate our employees to deliver again.

The City will also host a LifeShare blood drive Dec. 9; the LifeShare bus will be across from City Hall.

City Hall has “Be a Santa to a Senior” tags on the Christmas tree for those who want to help a senior citizen have a joyful holiday season.

From the City of Nederland, we want to wish the community a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at (409) 723-1503.

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.