I always have high hopes of having all the shopping done long before December arrives, but that never seems to happen. This year, for once, the presents are wrapped and under the tree before Christmas Eve. I guess I come by it naturally. I remember visiting my parents at Christmas, and my mom and I would spend Christmas Eve feverishly wrapping all the gifts she had purchased and got them placed under the tree before the stroke of midnight.

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Earlier this week, we were out of the house for a couple of hours. It was cold outside, so we left our dog inside. He evidently wanted to see if there was a gift for him under our tree – and yes, there are a couple for him. We came home to find several presents “unwrapped”. Luckily, he didn’t find his treats, but I had to rewrap several things.

My girls used to love tracking Santa, with help from NORAD’s Santa Tracker. I say they used to, but I don’t think they’re going to be tracking him this year. Of course, that makes me long for the days when they were little, and they were so much easier to shop for then.

Speaking of the Santa Tracker, here’s a fun fact that you might not know. According to their website, NORAD, The North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking Santa since 1958. But the idea for the Santa Tracker began in 1955. A child accidentally called the phone number for the Continental Air Defense Command, CONAD, Operations Center in Colorado Springs. She had seen a promotion in a local newspaper and thought she was calling The Jolley Old Elf himself. The on-duty commander used his own Christmas magic, to convince the child that he was Santa and that he would have a safe journey delivering presents all over the world.

I wish that all accidental phone calls would result in something so magical. And to think, it all began in Colorado.

Merry Christmas!

Light Up the Grand Valley 2022 Entrants: All the Light Up the Grand Valley Entries for 2022

During the 2022 holiday season, we asked our audience to show us their Christmas decorations. We received some great photos from the area's best-decorated houses.

The first photo in the gallery was our 2022 winner, who received $500. We're running the contest again this year, so stay tuned for more details.

The Grand Valley's Best Holiday Light Displays for 2021

Take a look at some of the Grand Valley's best holiday lights displays below. Think your house is one of the best decorated in the neighborhood? Send it to us and you could win $500.

Colorado's Santa Tracker

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