THE POLAR EXPRESS Delivers Big Holiday Fun for Colorado Families

For years, the Colorado Railroad Museum has been a popular destination for railway lovers of all ages. Fans of all things chugga-chugga and choo-choo always find something interesting to explore as the museum is constantly restoring and adding to their deep collection of railway cars, engines, and artifacts. They host many creative and innovative events throughout the year. Fittingly, they are capping off another fantastic year of fun with something extraordinary. For the first time, the Colorado Railroad Museum is hosting THE POLAR EXPRESS™ experience. It is more than just a train ride. It’s a theatrical re-telling of the beloved modern holiday classic written by Chris Van Allsburg, which was adapted into a film in 2004. Elements of both are incorporated into every thoughtful detail...

No chimney full of toys? How to handle holiday disappointments

In a recent interview with Dr. Jeffrey I. Dolgan, PhD, Senior Psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, we asked how to manage children’s expectations during the holidays. Here’s what Dr. Dolgan had to say about how to deal with holiday let-downs if Santa, Mom or Dad come up short. What do kids expect at Christmastime or Hanukkah? Kids are very precise about what they want. Their Santa list doesn’t include just a video game, it’s a particular video game, or a specific action figure. Children expect these precise things, especially if they wrote it down or visited Santa Claus. This is especially true if the ads on TV instruct kids to “tell Mom and Dad” or “whisper this in Santa’s ear.” What should parents do when a child doesn’t get what h...

This Holiday Season, Ho-Ho-Hold On and Think Before You Eat

One for you… one for me. One for you…two for me. One for you… three for me.  That’s my philosophy on Christmas cookies.  I’ve never met a Christmas cookie I didn’t like.  I actually celebrate Hanukah but cookies, I have found, are very inclusive. It also seems to be my philosophy on (just kill me now) Thanksgiving pie—whether it’s apple, blueberry, pecan, or yummy pumpkin pie. Mm-mmm! I confess, I always put on a few pounds in November and December, and it’s amazing how much harder it is to get those couple pounds off then it was to put them on. But this year has to be different. This year I am training for a spring marathon, and I don’t want any extra baggage weighing me down.  

The Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker Enchants All

A holiday season without The Nutcracker is a few twirls short of magical. Generations have made listening to Tchaikovsky’s familiar suite part of their celebrations. I love how here in Colorado, we have the world-class Colorado Ballet dedicated to performing The Nutcracker for families. Not only can we hear the lovely, poignant, energetic score, we can see it how it was meant to be seen: With wonder, with skill, with love, though dance. I was excited to take my ten-year-old son, Joel, to a recent performance at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Nutcracker has a reputation for being a great mommy-daughter date. Of course, ladies of all ages filled the expansive theater dressed in their holiday best, but there were plenty of guys on hand experience the fun. I think it’s really ...

12 Days of Toddler Christmas

As Christmas rounds the corner, I find myself officially on the other side of the Christmas magic. That doesn’t mean Christmas has no magic left. It simply means that after the Christmas magic dust has settled to the floor, I have to clean it up. With a broom. Because my three-year old shows the same amount of fear towards the vacuum as I would, if I opened my pantry and found an actual shark inside. The side of Christmas I’m talking about  is the day-to-day side: Hey, hey! It’s Christmas! Also, it’s Tuesday! Did you pay the utility bill? I don’t know who wrote the Christmas carol: “Twelve Days of Christmas.” But, I’d be willing to bet both the giver and recipient were adults. Not just because a verse from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star doesn...

Scandalous Holiday Season Confessions

You know it’s the holiday season when a certain local radio station—the call letters rhyme with NOSI—busts out sleighbell-laden songs. ‘Tis the season to deck the rooftops with partridges. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any holiday that falls during this time of year. If Administrative Assistants Day fell during November and December, I’d totally get an Administrative Assistants Coffee Mug Tree and string it with paper clips. I’d sing carols like, “Carol of the Tasteful Ringtones.” I guess I’m in a partying mood at the end of each year. However, there are certain norms and rules regarding this time of year. Sometimes, I fear I’m doing the holidays wrong. Or, I get irritated by some of the traditions and only begrudgingly cele...

Delicious Cranberry Salsa Served Over Cream Cheese

Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of cranberries but I can’t get enough of this delicious cranberry salsa served over cream cheese. My friend Eva regularly brings this dish to our Christmas potlucks and I love it. It’s perfect for Christmas but gosh darn it if I’m not adding it to our Thanksgiving line-up. You can either serve it with your turkey or as a side or appetizer while people are waiting for your turkey to cook. As as bonus, it’s totally easy. Every year, my family participates in Volunteers of America’s service project to serve Thanksgiving dinner to low-income seniors. This year, I brought our cranberry salsa and it was a hit! Talk about the perfect way to spend this holiday–in service and sharing a delicious meal. Enjoy!

42 Ways to Recapture Childhood Holiday Wonder

1. Save the wishbone. 2. Eat the dark meat. 3. Get dirty, wet, and cold on purpose, leaving a flock of snow angels behind. 4. Appreciate your cousins. Play with them. 5. Celebrate Snoopy Thanksgiving. 6. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Make sure to high-kick with the Rockettes. Or low-kick. Or flick your toes. 7. Truly enjoy the sight and sound of coagulated cranberry oozing out of a can in one gelatinous cylinder. 8. Make a turkey with your handprints. 9. Wear mittens instead of gloves. 10. Make candy cane fangs. 11. Snoop

How a Teenaged Girl Grew a Beard and Liked It

Most 13-year-old girls do not have a beard. But I did. My junior high drama club held auditions for the Christmas play, called “Skullduggery At Santa’s Place.” I had to look up skullduggery in the dictionary when the play’s title was announced. The definition pleased me enough to sign up for the after-school audition. I wanted the part of Cookie Claus, Santa’s beautiful daughter of marrying/kissing age. I poured all my energy into becoming Cookie, believing the part would launch me into a Love’s Baby Soft scented stratosphere of Junior High fame. I read my lines with delicate but passionate intensity, with a tinge of sweet spunk and the ability to swoon at the sight of the nearest imaginary but C. Thomas Howell-handsome Canadian Mountie.

Where to cut your own Colorado Christmas tree

Many Coloradans want a more hands-on experience when it comes to selecting their Christmas tree than just visiting an urban tree lot. The U.S. Forest Service annually issues $10 permits for those who want to cut their own trees in designated areas. The South Platte Ranger District office began selling permits Nov. 1 at its Morrison office (19316 Goddard Ranch Court), and an order form can also be downloaded online for those who want to mail in their permit request. Get full information at or by calling 303-275-5610. Don’t delay — the permits sell out quickly For details on the other sites in Colorado where tree cutting is allowed,

What is Truly Important – Cherishing Those in Your Life

We have closed the book on Christmas 2011 and as we look forward to ringing in 2012 this weekend, I am reflecting on those in my life and those who have shared it. As I get older and watch my children grow up, I continue to gain insight and wisdom into what is truly important…it is what our elders have told us all along. It’s family and friends and those who love you and you love. My children and I watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on Christmas Day. I always understood the message, even when I was a child, that Christmas isn’t something that comes from a store or comes wrapped in packages, boxes or bags.

Have You Ever Suffered From Post Traumatic Holiday Disorder?

I have a picture of it, but you actually had to see it to believe it. My parents’ home, filled to the brim with holiday merriment and various people. Some related, some not, and in keeping with Southern tradition…some we’re still not sure about.

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