Christmas letters: A thing of the past?
Society is divided into three camps when it comes to holiday greetings. There are those who send Christmas cards, those who send cards with a Christmas letter and those who do neither. For several years I've been a card and Christmas letter sender. The letter doesn't go to everyone on my Christmas card list, just those who actually know the family members whose names are mentioned.
I've noticed in recent years that electronic greeting are overtaking the old-fashioned "hand addressed envelope bearing a Christmas design postage stamp, delivered by the post office and arriving in the real mailbox in front of the house" variety. The times they are a changing, as the old saying goes.
With millions of people of all ages using social media to stay in touch in real time throughout the year, perhaps the Christmas card and annual letter have become passe. Sigh.
If you're buying a fresh Christmas tree, consider a lot that benefits local organizations: Boy Scout Troop 3, next to Michael's on Canfield and Government Way; Idaho Youth Ranch/Anchor House, on Government Way just north of Harrison Avenue; and Coeur d'Alene Christian Center on Prairie Avenue to name a few.
At 7 tonight, someone will be half a billion (yes, that's with a "b") dollars richer. Incomprehensible, even after taxes. The odds of winning are almost as astronomical as the Powerball jackpot and we've all heard sad tales of how lottery winners' lives have been ruined by the winning. When I've seen photos of lucky recipients holding those giant checks it's obvious that they're just regular folks, it's not like playing the lottery is a game of skill. Nope, the one thing every winner has had in common is they bought a ticket.
I have a ticket for tonight's drawing and have definitely had $2 worth of amusement in pondering what one would do with half a billion dollars. But tomorrow odds are most of us holding tickets will still be living life as we know it today. Which all things considered is pretty darn good.
Most people use the long Thanksgiving weekend to put up a tree and the outdoor Christmas lights. I grew up with a father who loved all things Christmas, especially decking the house with lights. And the trees and shrubs and fences, too. My husband has never shared that particular love of all things lit up for Christmas but has been a good sport through the years to string lights and put out lawn displays to make me happy.
Now we're empty nesters and it's a bit different; unless the daughters and grandsons will be home for Christmas we do minimal outdoor lighting. I enjoy driving around town and looking at the lights this time of year, so let me know where the best outdoor displays are around town and I'll share with the readers.
I was up before dawn on Thanksgiving morning, not because I had to work or put the turkey in the oven, but to drive over the Beck Road exchange on I-90 that opened for traffic at 6 a.m. It's a project that was years in the making, five months in construction and was opening one day ahead of schedule. Although I invited Bert to join me, he respectfully declined the offer. There was no fanfare, just a brand-spanking new section of road that will spur growth and jobs in west Post Falls. I have to say that it was fun as the only car around to be maybe the first to drive across in the pre-dawn dark, even making a U-turn to go back the way I came.
The eagles have arrived at the east end of Lake Coeur d'Alene, and once again I encourage anyone who has not taken a short drive out to Higgens Point to add it to your list of things to do this year.
Why shop local? Local businesses pay local taxes, provide paychecks, donate and contribute to organizations and events throughout the year. If not for local businesses, who would be donating to the auctions, raffles, scholarships, grad night parties, senior centers, charitable causes, youth sports sponsorships, etc.? This Christmas season let your gift giving pay it forward in our communities ... SHOP LOCAL!
Sharing a Nov. 28 birthday today are Katie King, Cody and Tristan Webb, Breanna Joyner and Judy Dahl. Tomorrow Amanda Hildebrant Robinson, Gary Ingram, Shirley Thagard, Carol Covell and Carol Ann Eachon will celebrate another year. On Friday Kevin Ekness, Carol Kreighbaum, Kevin Krieg, Cindy Scinto will mark their annual trip around the sun. The first day of December will find birthday girls Chris Pappas, Marge Chadderdon and Connie Price putting on their party hats. Brandi Hague, Lois Covill, Hope Connally and Georg Nagrone (60!) are blowing out the candles on Sunday. Carol Fairhust, Sandy Bradbury, Sandra King, Joyce Ekness, Jennifer Keefe and Sandy Clearwater have Dec. 3 birthdays and on Tuesday wish a happy birthday to Carrie Cook, Bob Brooke, Tina McWhorter, Dirk Fredekind and Doug Shevalier.
Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. She was voted Best Local Writer for 2012 by the readers of the North Idaho Business Journal. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri is on the air Mondays and Wednesdays on 1080 ESPN AM (KVNI). Find her on Facebook or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.