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Dear Reader


by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three
Checking the mail is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Normally, I rarely check the mailbox, because it usually contains only bills and advertisements. But during the Christmas season, that all changes. I eagerly wait for the mail to find cards and well wishes from many of my long-distance friends and family. I thoroughly enjoy seeing how much their children have changed since last year or discovering they’ve been blessed with a job promotion, a new house, or even an addition to their family with either a baby, a pet, or an in-law. It’s amazing how much can change in just 12 short months. In my adult life, I have lived in six states and have had to say good-bye to many friends I’ve made along the way. Keeping in touch, at least during the Christmas season, helps to make moving a little easier. Every year, my friend, Jennifer Wolff, helps me create a perfect holiday card to send to addresses crisscrossing the United States. She takes amazing pictures of my family and uses her mad graphic design skills to conjure up a unique card with coordinating colors and style. This year, we’re using a black and white damask background, and my kids will be wearing black, gray, and auberjean. I can’t wait to mail them out! Another favorite part of the holidays is the parties we attend. A few years ago, I planned a party where Santa was the guest of honor. We drank hot chocolate, took our pictures with Santa, and sang Christmas Carols with him from KCFM’s annual songbook. It was one of my most favorite parties I’ve ever hosted. You can find out how to throw your own Santa-themed party, so your guests will have a joyful and magical experience. Check out the article, “How to Put the Ho-Ho-Ho in Your Holiday Party: Invite Santa,” on page 20 for many party planning tips. The holiday’s parties, sights, sounds, and food make the season so enchanted. Imagine if you were experiencing it all for the first time. If you’re celebrating your baby’s very first Christmas this year, KCFM wanted to make sure you commemorate it in style with some of the trendiest and most sentimental products on the market. Turn to page 23 for the article, “Three Gifts to Celebrate Baby’s First Christmas.” Speaking of firsts…in Tracie Grimes’s Humor at Home article, “The First of the Lasts,” she writes about attending her sons’ last parent-teacher conferences and how much it stings to realize she’s on the road to having an empty nest. She comments on how fast the time truly does go and how she misses the chaotic days of raising four small children. For an insightful perspective and a good laugh, turn to page 13. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas with wondered-eyed, small children or it’s just you, there is so much to experience and enjoy about the season. Locally, Kern County offers many chances to enjoy the holidays with parties, holiday lights, and charitable events. In the article, “12 Days of Christmas in Kern County,” on page 14, KCFM explores 12 different traditions that make Bakersfield so unique during this time of year. You definitely won’t lack for something to do this year! Christmas really is a magical time of year. We tend to be happier, laugh harder, sing louder, have more gratitude in our hearts, and practice more compassion. It would be wonderful to maintain this kind-hearted spirit all year long. Like Henry Van Dyke says, “But, there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas Day, and that is keeping Christmas. And, if you can keep it for a day, why not always?” Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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