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We’re lucky enough to begin celebrating Christmas in September

By Jeanette W. Bennett

It’s been Christmas in September and October for us as we’ve ho-ho-hoed our way through this holiday issue while watching the leaves turn from healthy green to crisp yellow. We’ve been playing Christmas CDs in the office to get us in the mood to design Santa ads, write about nativity exhibits and interview library patrons about their holiday traditions.

Even Marie Osmond got pulled into the early Christmas season and set up her Christmas tree before her neighbors put pumpkins on their porches.

But if there’s one season that deserves to be celebrated for more than 12 days and one partridge in a pear tree, it’s Christmas.

The greatest part about the holidays is that it can bring out the best in people. Jess and Jane Walker, owners of Walkers’ Eternity Bridal in Provo, turn their backyard into a life-size nativity scene, with thousands of lights that beckon neighbors, church groups and curious passersby. The Walkers’ motivation is the pure joy they see in children’s faces when they get to kiss the baby Jesus in the manger scene.

Thanksgiving Point is busily planning their drive-through lights display, as is Spanish Fork City, which both have become traditions for my oohing and awing young family.

The Christmas season also brings with it snowflakes — both those cut from white 8 1/2 X 11 paper and those dropping uniquely from the winter sky. One of the best reasons to live in Utah is the greatest snow on earth. Not only do we have an ideal winter season — which I define as snow covering the brown grass but roads that don’t ice over for weeks at a time — we also have the other three seasons in full bloom.

During winter, outdoor sports take center stage. I vow to get more use from the three sleds hanging in my garage with still-readable pricetags stuck to the plastic. My childhood winters revolved around sledding down the drifts that the wind created on the wood piles to the side of our house. When we mastered those 8-foot hills, my parents would bundle us in the station wagon and head for the hills. After just a few turns down the icy slopes, we would start asking to go sit in the car and crank the heat. Before long, we were headed back home for some hot chili while we sat by the crackling fire. Our snow guide gives your family dozens of ideas for enjoying the crisp, white season that’s upon us.

As the wintry Christmas spirit starts entering your heart, let this issue be your guide. You’ll find volunteer opportunities, local gifts, suggestions for traditions and a lengthy calendar with events you should not let pass you by.

May you find joy this Christmas as you support local vendors, share your love with your family and resolve to notice the beauty of the earth and the people around you.

Happy holidays.

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