Holiday season is sneaky

Every year it seems like we waitand waitand wait for spring to turn to summer, yet fall turns to winter with the blink of an eye. With that, we switch just as easily from the season of thankfulness to the season of giving. It’s hard to believe that December is here and with it the end of 2013.

While the holiday season always seems to find us busier than usual, I want to encourage you to stop, look around and enjoy yourself. When I was pregnant for my first son, I recall watching all of the “Whos” in their “Whoville” hustling and bustling all season long, the final sound of their voices singing in unison, and how I found new meaning (and maybe a tear) in that moment. Eight years of Christmas memories later and find moments like that every year. I encourage you to look around and see where you will find yours.

There are a number of amazing memory-makers happening on the west-end this time of year so bundle up and come join us. The City of Ishpeming is one again hosting pony drawn sleigh rides and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus from 5:30-7:30 on the Thursdays of Dec. 5, 12 and 19, with the Live Nativity taking place in front of the Butler Theater at 7 p.m. on the 19. Christmas in the Village will take place on Dec. 7. Have breakfast, your picture taken and a story with Santa in the Country Village.

On Dec.19, Central UP Insurance, Wilderness Sports and Bucks Restaurant are hosting a Toy Drive on Division Business AfterHours. Come down and check out the new facade of Bucks Restaurant, welcome Central UP Insurance to the neighborhood and see all that Wilderness has to keep you warm during the long winter.

Bring a toy for the children in the area who find themselves having a harder Christmas than you.

Throughout the entire month of December we continue to urge you to “Shop Small- Shop Local” with the Chamber Holiday Punch Card. Make a purchase at any Chamber member’s business and have them punch your card or attach a receipt. Not sure if you are at a Chamber Business? Download the GINCC Directory App to your smart phone or check our online directory at Before Dec. 23, bring the full cards (1 punch for every $10) to the Chamber Office for a chance to win some great prizes. When you shop locally, your holiday dollars help your neighbor businesses, which help your community. It’s an amazing cycle to watch.

I’m also going to take this opportunity to look forward to 2014 and two of my favorite events:?The Negaunee Irontown Association’s Annual Heikki Lunta Festival and the GINCC’s Second Arctic Blast Color Dash- 5K Color Snowshoe Adventure. Both of these events will take place on Jan. 18, 2014. Last year we had 300 participants in the 5K Snowshoe Race and we expect to topthat this year.

Since the race wraps up by 1:30 p.m, you will have the chance to explore Ishpeming and Negaunee. Grab some lunch, do local shopping or antiquing, or to participate in the Art and Sip taking place in the Old Gossard Building.

Take some time to enjoy yourself and then stick around for what I consider the best fireworks display of the year, because there is nothing like the colors and sounds reflecting off the white snow and the warmth of a community gathered together to watch them.

Keep us in the loop -what holiday vents are going on in your neck of the woods?