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Š Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

November 22, 2012

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Index

Participants in the Christmas in Berthoud parade stay warm as they sparkle down Mountain Avenue in 2011. Celebrating Christmas in BerthoudŠ is published in Berthoud, Colorado by the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor. The publishers reserve the right to edit, classify or reject any advertising or news copy. Liability for any newspaper error in an advertisement shall not exceed the cost of space occupied by error. The publishers assume no liability for any advertising which is not published for any cause. The publishers assume absolutely no obligation or responsibility for subject matter in copy placed by its advertisers or their agents. It is also understood that the advertiser and the agency placing such advertising jointly and severally agree to indemnify Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, LLC against all expense, loss or damage sustained by reason of printing such copy. Subscription rates are $32 per year to residents of the 80513 zip code, online subscribers, and $42 per year to zip codes other than 80513.

Christmas in Berthoud 2012 ......................3 Savvy traveling at the holidays..................5 A Skype Christmas .....................................6 A history of Christmas trees ......................8 Holidays on stage ........................................10 Unique gift-giving .......................................12 Oh what fun it is to ride .............................14

The advertisers in this magazine are businesses that support the Berthoud community in many ways. We hope you support them with your patronage.

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Christmas in Berthoud 2012 The Christmas in Berthoud (CIB) committee is planning a special CIB this year. In addition to helping families in need they will be helping families that have servicemen and women overseas. Craft Fair — At Grace Place on Nov. 30 from 4 – 9 p.m. and on Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Get your Christmas shopping done and bring the kids so they can get their picture taken with Santa. Musical — Orphan Promise to perform “The Old Russian Shoemaker” in the Grace Place auditorium on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. A second showing will be at the Berthoud United Methodist Church on Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Ladies Christmas Tea — At Grace Place on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. – noon. Entry fee is $5 with a $5 gift card to store/restaurant which will be donated to a CIB youth. Tickets are on sale at Grace Place. Make & Take Kid’s Craft Fair — At Berthoud Elementary on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring your children so they can make Christmas gifts. Giving Tables — Hays Market shoppers can donate items at the checkout and a percentage of the profit from all donated purchases will go to CIB.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012 Giving Trees — Select a family to purchase gifts for. Trees will be located at the Berthoud Library, Hays Market, Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, Herb’s Medicinals, and Grandpa’s Cafe. Food for Fines — Pay off your library fines with food donations throughout the month of December at the Berthoud Library. Donate Food and Coats — Collection sites at Main Street Car Care & Quick Lube, the Berthoud Library, Hays Market, L&M Garden Center and Grace Place. Home-based Business Expo — Bake Sale and Chili dinner on Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Berthoud Area Community Center, 248 Welch Ave. Want a booth? Contact Elnora at 532-2730. City Star Brewing — Will donate $1 for each beer sold on Dec. 1. 321 Mountain Ave. Town Parade and Tree Lighting — On Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. participate in the festive parade through town and end the evening with the tree lighting in Fickel Park. Do you want to have a float in the parade? Contact Kyle Hansen at the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce, 970-532-4200 or bcc@berthoudcolorado.com. Community Mega Meat Fest — Hosted and donated by the BUMS of Berthoud at Turner Middle School on Dec. 1 from 6 - 8 p.m. The Church of Latter Day Saints women’s group will be hosting a bake sale at the dinner. Community Bonfire and Activities — at L&M Garden Center from 8 - 10 p.m. on Dec. 1 Various Singing and Dancing Performances — In the Grace Place auditorium on Dec. 1 from 1 – 4 p.m. Christmas cards (pictured below) will be available for purchase at the following Berthoud businesses for $2: Habitat for Humanity Restore, Hays Market, Grandpa’s Cafe, L&M Garden Center, Lighthouse Cafe, Berthoud Drug and the Berthoud Community Library.

Do you want to host an event to benefit Christmas in Berthoud? Do you know a family that could use some extra help this year? Contact Kim Land at 970-532-9886 or check out the website for event updates at www.ChristmasinBerthoud.org. Monetary donations can be made through Paypal on the CIB website or at Home State Bank. CIB is a 501C3 non-profit corporation.

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Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Smart and savvy holiday traveling

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ailing children accompanied by the sound of tinny Christmas music wafting through the terminal — does this sound familiar? If so, then you’ve probably done a little holiday traveling. No matter how laid back I try to be, there’s always a moment when I just want to throw my purse and scream at the top of my lungs, whether it’s while crushed on an overcrowded airport shuttle, attempting to maneuver through the ticket line, or trying to remove my shoes in the security line. Let’s face it — traveling during the holidays is the opposite of fun. From the minute you book your overpriced flight to the moment you discover the airlines have misplaced the Heidi suitcase that contained all the family Kerr-Schlaefer Christmas presents, holiday travel is the pits. There are a few things you can do to reduce the stress of hectic holiday travel. Check departure times before heading out. Frequent fliers like Fly Smart, a downloadable smartphone airport app available at www.flysmartapp.com. This app lets you check your flight status and gives you real-time updates at 90 airports worldwide, including Denver International Airport (DIA). You can even check local weather, parking,

transportation information, airport venues such as restaurants, shops and services, and more. The tip that works best for me personally is to travel light. I know it is difficult for some of you (ladies), but I promise that you don’t need to pack 10 outfits and the hair dryer for a three-day vacation. Chances are likely that your relatives or the hotel will have a hair dryer. With airline baggage fees now more expensive than a tank of gasoline, many people only bring carryon luggage, but that means jam-packed overhead bins. This issue has prompted airlines to allow free last minute check-ins of luggage at the gate, which is a nice option, but doesn’t happen on every flight. If you do check luggage, remember to carry essentials with you on to the airplane. In case your luggage doesn’t make an appearance at your destination, then you’ll have your important things, like medication. This may seem obvious, but even the smartest of us have forgotten — don’t wrap any presents that will be in your carryon luggage, because TSA will make you unwrap them. Also, if you plan to travel with large items such as golf clubs or skis, you should check with your airline ahead of time to find out if there are any special requirements. It’s also wise to make sure they are padded and packed before you get to the airport. A better idea? Rent golf clubs when you get there. It’s a lot less of a hassle. This may seem like the most obvious tip of all, but it’s probably the most difficult one to follow for most families. LEAVE EARLY. I realize it’s not easy to deliver the dog to boarding, pack your luggage, pack snacks, wrangle the kids into the car, cram the luggage into the trunk and get on the road, but if you don’t do it early, all the other tips in this article will be for not. If you are running late to the airport during the holidays you risk missing your flight — it’s that simple. If you are flying during peak travel times, like the few days before or after Christmas, you will need a full two hours at the airport. That means folks in the Berthoud area should plan to leave your house a full three hours before your flight is scheduled to take off from DIA. I won’t promise that these tips will make holiday travel fun, that’s probably impossible, but they might just make it a little easier.

Santa agrees, preparation is key for holiday traveling.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

I’m dreaming of a Skype Christmas

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ome for the holidays is a popular wish for many, though not always possible due to circumstances such as distance, work, weather and even war. Years ago the only way to bridge those distances was letter writing or expensive long-distance phone calls. Sentimental carols like “White Christmas” or my personal favorite, “Please Come Home for Christmas,” made the longing that much more poignant. I always knew the holidays had arrived when I saw the commercial where the college boy arrives home to make coffee and surprise his family. Tears were guaranteed. Now I’m assured an emotional meltdown by the recent commercial of ongoing conversations between a Susan college girl and her widower father, Richards via computer. What can I say — I’m an easy consumer target as soon as the first hall is decked. Times they are a-changing. The last two decades have seen a growth in technology that has changed the world and made the simple desire to be “home for the holidays” possible in spite of the miles. Cell phones, Internet service and social media have connected us on a global level. In 2003, three Estonian software developers released Skype, an application allowing proprietary voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP). Not only does the software allow instant messaging and voice calls, but with Web camera hardware on the computer or phone, callers can see their loved one on the other end in beautiful — sometimes blurry and possibly behind a second or two — living color. Skype eventually garnered more than 600 million users and was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for 8.5 billion dollars. Several competitive applications have been developed since then, including Apple’s version, FaceTime. The customer need only download the free software and create an account, then add contacts to their list. If both parties use the video chat, they can talk face-to-face on computers or even smart phones. The bigger and better the screen, the closer the other person feels. Besides enhancing long distance relationships everywhere, Skype has become an invaluable business and educational tool. Employers have used it to interview prospective hires without the expense of flying them in from elsewhere and, with multiple connections allowed, audio conferencing with far-flung participants is possible. It’s even been used to assist in language exchange for students around the world. For those of us who dream of going to the cyber office in pajamas and bunny slippers, Skype meetings make that possible. Just put on a nice shirt, wipe the oatmeal from your chin and no one’s the wiser. Professional tip: don’t stand up unless you’re positively disconnected. Being far from those we love at the holidays can definitely be made easier with video calling. Imagine the joy of seeing your niece open her gift while you watch her reaction, or sharing a New Year’s kiss with your boyfriend while

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on separate coasts. Enjoy a little sibling competition by comparing the golden hues of your Thanksgiving turkey with your sister in Buffalo. Personal tip: if you’re Skyping with grandma while wearing the hideous snowman sweater she sent that you have no intention of keeping, be sure to hide the price tag and horrified Probably one of the best uses of expression. technology is staying close to loved ones Yes, serving our country around the world. technology is a wonderful thing at the holidays, but it’s still not perfect.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

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The Christmas tree ~ from pagan origins to Rockefeller Center

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undreds, and perhaps thousands, of years before Christianity began, plants and trees that remained green year-round carried special significance for our ancient ancestors during the winter months. Much as people today tend to decorate their homes during the Christmas season with greenery such as pine, spruce and fir trees, ancient people would hang boughs from these evergreens along with cuttings from holly, mistletoe, laurel or boxwood above doors and windows to remind them of the coming spring. In some areas it was believed the hanging of green cuttings and evergreen boughs would ward off witches, evil spirits and illness. In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice, the day with the least amount of daylight and the longest night, usually falls on Dec. 21. To many ancient people the sun was a god and winter, along with the shorter days, arrived each year because the Rudy “sun god” had become sickened or weakened. The people of the time Hemmann would have ceremonies on or near the solstice to celebrate the sun god regaining strength. Even the ancient Egyptians got into the act. They worshipped a sun god called Ra, who is depicted in drawings and sculpture as having the head of a hawk wearing a crown with a blazing sun in it. When the solstice arrived and Ra began to “gain strength,” the Egyptians would bring green date palm rushes into their homes. To them this was emblematic of

the victory of life over death. Early Romans also held celebrations at the time of the solstice. They held a public festival called Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, their god of agriculture. The festival began on Dec. 17, lasted at least a week, and included a number of feasts and celebrations. In addition, gifts were exchanged; for example, they gave coins to signify prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light ones way through life. They also decorated their homes with greenery and candles. Interestingly enough, the Romans used the Julian calendar at that time and the winter solstice fell on Dec. 25. (I sense things starting to come together, don’t you?) At about this same time the Druids of northern Europe, as well as the other religions of the region, were carrying out winter solstice celebrations and decorated their religious sites and homes with evergreen boughs, holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life and to ward off evil spirits. The Germanic and Scandinavian peoples are credited with beginning the tradition of bringing evergreen trees into the home. Late in the Middle Ages people from these two regions placed evergreens in their homes or outside near the front doors to signify hope for the spring season that would soon arrive. According to a widely held German legend, the 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther, while walking home through snow-covered woods on a chilly Christmas Eve, was impressed by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. The branches of the trees, which had been dusted with snow, glinted in the light of the moon. (Another version has it that Luther was awed by the sight of stars twinkling amidst the

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branches of larger trees.) As the legend goes, Luther was so taken by the scene that he hurried home, set up a fir tree in his home, and fixed small candles to the branches in order to share the experience with his family. The Christmas tree tradition was probably introduced to this country with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 1700s. However, the custom did not take hold immediately with Americans. The Puritans had banned Christmas celebrations in New England — it was to be a sacred day. William Bradford, second governor of the pilgrims, stated he tried hard to stamp out “pagan mockery” of Christmas and would penalize any frivolity. Oliver Cromwell preached against “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and “any joyful expression that desecrated that sacred event.” To top it off, in 1659 the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of Dec. 25, other than a solemn church service, a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations. Even as late as 1851 a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a Christmas tree in his church. Schools in Boston stayed open on Christmas Day through 1870 and were known to expel students who stayed home. It is small wonder that Americans, at first, found Christmas trees odd. The first recorded instance of a public Christmas tree was in the 1830s, put up by settlers in Pennsylvania, although decorated trees had been traditional in the homes of German immigrants much earlier, and Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1750. However, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were viewed as pagan symbols and shunned by most Americans. The turning point came in 1846 when the British Royal family, members of which had German roots, was pictured in a drawing around a Christmas tree. British subjects took note of this, as did the fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. In order to remain fashionable the Christmas tree would soon find a place in the homes of the blue-bloods of American society. By the 1890s hand-crafted ornaments were arriving from Germany. The Christmas tree had arrived and its popularity was growing. It is worth noting that while Europeans preferred smaller trees, up to about four feet in height, Americans liked their trees to reach the ceiling. By 1900 one in five American households had a Christmas tree and, 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal. As the 20th century began, many Americans were decorating their trees with homemade ornaments, while those of German descent used apples, nuts, marzipan candies and cookies. Popcorn that had been dyed bright colors and strung together with nuts and berries soon became popular as well. Small candles, held on the ends of branches with small metal clips were also used. As a result, house fires were quite common during the holiday season. Electricity brought Christmas lights, which proved to be a much safer way to light the tree. It is said that Thomas Edison’s assistants were the first people to place a string of lights on a tree. Lighted Christmas trees began appearing in town squares and parks across the country, and having a tree decorated with lights in the home became a tradition in America. The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was placed in 1931. It was a small tree without decoration, which was placed at the center of the construction site by workers. Two years

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012 later a larger tree was placed there, this time with lights. The tallest tree to be placed at Rockefeller Center came in 1948. It was a Norway spruce from Connecticut that measured 100 feet tall. Today the tree placed at Rockefeller Center is lit with over 25,000 lights. Decorating the Christmas tree, “decking the halls” with greenery, maybe even hanging a sprig of mistletoe to provoke a kiss, all seems so natural to us now. However, getting the tradition to take hold was not easy, even though it has roots in the very distant past. Here is some Christmas tree trivia which may be of interest. Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the U.S. since about 1850. Between 1887 and 1933 a fishing schooner called the Christmas Ship would tie up at the Clark Street Bridge and sell spruce trees from Michigan to Chicagoans. The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Wash. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, brought the Christmas tree tradition to the White House. Teddy Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree from the White House for environmental reasons. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn. In 1963, the National Christmas Tree was not lit until Dec. 22 because of a national 30-day period of mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy. Since 1966, the National Christmas Tree Association has given a Christmas tree to the president and first family. In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done in honor of the American hostages in Iran. In 1984, the National Christmas Tree was lit on Dec. 13 with temperatures in the 70s, making it one of the warmest tree lightings in history. Most Christmas trees are cut weeks before they get to a retail outlet. In 1912, the first community Christmas tree in the United States was erected in New York City. Christmas trees generally take six to eight years to mature. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, and 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on tree farms. More than one million acres of land have been planted to Christmas trees, and 77 million trees are planted each year, with 34 to 36 million Christmas trees being produced each year. More than 100,000 people are employed in the Christmas tree industry. It is not recommended to burn a Christmas tree in the fireplace. It can contribute to creosote buildup. Other types of trees, such as cherry and hawthorn, were used as Christmas trees in the past. In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day. California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are the top Christmas tree producing states. The best selling trees are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Balsam fir, and white pine.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Raise the curtain on the holidays By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor

Taking in a show during the holidays is a tradition for many families. Titles like the “Nutcracker Ballet” and “Scrooge” are easy to find but, along with the standards, some less stereotypical shows are on stage around Colorado this season. Without further ado, here’s what’s on stage around Colorado this holiday season: Denver — “White Christmas” runs Nov. 23 through Dec. 24 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. This Christmas favorite tells the story of two WWII vets who follow a pair of singing sisters to a failing inn in Vermont. To keep the doors open, the group decides to stage a play, and thus “White Christmas” is a show within a show featuring 17 Broadway-size production numbers like “I Love a Piano,” and “Blue Skies.” This is an all-ages production that’s sure to please everyone. Go to DenverCenter.org for more information. Boulder — Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s holiday show is “42nd Street,” and it runs Nov. 9 through Feb. 16, 2013. Not a traditional Christmas show, this 1980 musical is the winner of four Tony Awards and tells the story of an aspiring chorus girl named Peggy Sawyer. With famous hits like “We’re in the Money,” this musical will have the audience dancing in their seats. Details for this show can be found at BouldersDinnerTheatre.com. Longmont — Longmont Theatre Company (LTC) is sticking to the traditional this year with their production of “A Christmas Carol.” The company is touting this as, “a new twist to the Dickens classic,” and it will feature the largest cast ever to grace the LTC stage. Tickets are just $10, and the show runs Dec. 13-16, 2012. Learn more at LongmontTheatre. org. “Christmas on Angel Street” is the holiday show at Jester’s Dinner Theatre in Longmont. Keep an eye on JestersTheatre.com for information regarding this production. Loveland — The Rialto Theater Center in downtown Loveland has music, movies and theater in their holiday lineup. To see the schedule go to ci.Loveland.co.us, click on departments and then cultural services to find the Rialto Theater. You can also like them on Facebook.com. On Dec. 10-12, 2012, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse presents “Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers’ A Colorado Christmas.” The trio will perform Christmas favorites as well as their greatest hits. Also at the Candlelight this holiday, “Mame,” an original Broadway production based on the novel by Patrick Dennis. Mame Dennis is an eccentric woman whose life abruptly changes when she becomes the guardian of her late brother’s only child, Patrick. The audience is transported to the roaring ‘20s and then to the Great Depression. Through it all, Mame keeps singing. Tony Award-wining scores include “We Need A Little Christmas,” “Bosom Buddies,” and “Mame.” For details on this show go to ColoradoCandlelight.com.

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. . . g n i t Presen Fort Collins — Lincoln Center in Fort Collins has a variety of holiday shows scheduled including “Clara and the Nutcracker,” “Christmas with the Celts,” “A Candlelight Christmas,” and more. Keep up with everything on tap at Lincoln Center online at FCGov.com/lctix. This winter, at Midtown Arts Center, the boys are back in town. One of the most popular shows ever at Midtown is returning with a holiday twist. “Forever Plaid” is now “Plaid Tidings,” and runs Nov. 23 through Dec. 31. The Plaid boys will continue their supernatural saga, returning from the afterlife to perform their own Christmas special featuring a host of holiday songs. Appropriate for all ages, more information can be found at ADinnerTheatre.com.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Shopping outside of the box

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f you are still shopping for that special someone, maybe this will help. A recent perusal of amazon.com’s site for the top toys of 2012 is a good place to start if you are short on ideas. One of the “hot” items for kids (age five to 14) this Christmas is the Razor Rip-Rider 360 Drifting Ride-On. This is an updated and bigger version of the Big Wheel trikes from days past. The Rip-Rider fits bigger kids than the old Big Wheel did. It looks like something they could make larger for adults so some of us can relive our youth. Oh, and this one has a lever for making sparks on the sidewalk too. I want it. Since this is not going to happen, here are some ideas for the hard-toshop-for person on your Christmas list. Want to refine your knowledge of Bob wine? Wine Wars is a game to help McDonnell you increase your wine education. It requires three bottles of wine and a few friends. The game includes 250 brain-teasing questions and 50 tasting cards. If you want something to spruce up your home décor, you might consider a cruelty-free cardboard or moose head. You can get a hunting trophy without leaving your home. Numbered cardboard parts make the faux animal head easy to assemble — unless you played Wine Wars earlier. If the guy on your list is not a hunter, maybe he would like a personalized bobble head. The Superfan bobble head doll can be custom ordered. You specify hair and eye color, jersey color, and the name on the back of the jersey. For the female in your home, I suggest a robe. This one is made from men’s recycled shirts. The kimono-style robe is made from a patchwork of blue and white solid and print cloth. It’s not only comfy but also ecologically friendly. Speaking of the environment — what do you do with your old credit cards? I cut mine up or try not to jam the shredder as I destroy them. Here is another way to recycle out-of-date plastic cards. It’s called the guitar pick punch. Similar to a large paper punch, you can use it to produce more than one guitar pick out of one old card. Save power with a water-powered clock. The small bedside or desk clock starts running the instant you put tap water in it. It should not need a refill for months. The clocks are available in a basic clock and an alarm/ calendar version and are about four inches square. The makers of this clock have designed them to look like a drop of water or a canteen.

Give the gift of information. Call 970-532-2252 to order today.

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Every holiday family dinner needs a centerpiece for the table. Instead of flowers, you might want to consider an edible gummy bear. The colorful 26-pound gummy bear comes in raspberry, cherry, apple and orange. What says holidays more than 32,000 calories? My last suggestion is a can of unicorn meat. What could be more tasty? Actually, this gift is a metal can similar to a can of Spam that contains a stuffed unicorn animal. No actual unicorns were harmed in the production of this product. Happy shopping.

Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

Oh what fun it is to ride in a

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hristmas time is more than trees and presents. Spending time with loved ones and family can be an exciting part of the season, and creating special memories makes the holidays a cherished time. One great memory and fun experience is heading to the snowy mountains for a white Christmas and taking a sleigh ride through the woods. The average sleigh ride lasts about 45 minutes and all offer hot cocoa, coffee or tea. From Berthoud most sleigh rides are only a couple hours’ drive away. The three companies featured here offer a variety of packages, including a dinner sleigh ride Kathleen perfect after a day of hitting the slopes. For those who want the Donnelly same experience with warmer weather, all the companies featured offer summertime wagon rides. Two Below Zero: Located in Frisco, Colo., Two Below Zero opens this year for their 29th season. Recently, Two Below Zero was rated America’s Number One Sleigh Ride. They have been featured on the Travel Channel and CNN Headline News. “Americas Best Online traveled the country trying out different sleigh rides, and they rated ours as the best,” said owner John Lampe. “This is because of the remote location, the quality of the music provided with the dinner sleigh ride and, I feel, the customer service. We take our customer service seriously because, while this might be the 80th sleigh ride of the year for us, it is the first ride of the year for each person.” Two Below Zero can accommodate as many as 90 people in six big sleighs on a dinner ride. A team of draft mules pulls each large sleigh and a Haflinger, a smaller draft type horse, pulls the four-seat sleigh. “You can pet the mules and horses. They are used to being around people. We take safety very seriously, so we help teach people how to safely pet the animals. We will take pictures with customers and the teams as well,” said Lampe. The dinner package is the most popular package for Two Below Zero. This is because, as Lampe puts it, the dinner package is more than a sleigh ride. The sleigh ride lasts around 30 minutes, with guests returning to live music, a yummy steak dinner (options available for vegetarians, gluten free, etc.), and dessert with a hot drink. The whole experience is about two to two-and-ahalf hours. Other packages include a scenic hot cocoa sleigh ride and an exclusive private sleigh ride. All prices and information are online at www.dinnersleighrides.com. Reservations may be made online or by calling 970-4531520. Lampe recommends making holiday reservations three to four weeks in advance. During other times of the year he recommends booking a ride about one week in advance.

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The Aspen Lodge: The Aspen Lodge on Highway 7 in Estes Park offers sleigh rides as one of their many options for a winter get-a-way. The lodge also has great dining, beautiful rooms with amazing views, ice skating, and wedding and reception options that can include a sleigh ride. During the summer or if snow is scarce, the beautiful cream-colored Belgian Draft horses pull a wagon. For the holidays the team wears sleigh bells while dashing through the woods pulling a 12-person sleigh. “Guests get to pet the horses. Our Belgians are like big dogs. They are very gentle,” said Sales Manager Samantha Ross. “We have done sleigh rides here at Aspen Lodge for years. We are under new ownership and the new owners wanted to continue the tradition.” The Aspen Lodge offers a variety of packages including a dinner sleigh ride, a sweetheart ride, a holiday package, and hot cocoa rides. “The holiday packages are really fun. The day after Thanksgiving we take guests out in the hills on a sleigh and cut down a Christmas tree and bring it back to the lodge where everyone can help decorate the tree,” said Ross. “We have a great Christmas package too. The sweetheart package includes the sleigh ride, but also massages, champagne in the guests’ room, and breakfast in bed. This is a popular package.” Each sleigh ride includes hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

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Celebrating Christmas in Berthoud • 2012

one (or two) horse open sleigh

While the packages offer great deals to stay and dine at the Aspen Lodge, reservations are accepted to come for the day and enjoy the activities at the lodge as well. Only an hour from Berthoud, the Aspen Lodge has something for everyone. Ross recommends making reservations a minimum of 48 hours in advance and during the holidays, as soon as possible. To make reservations or for more information call: 970-586-8133 or visit www. aspenlodge.net and click on “activities.” Snow Mountain Ranch: A part of Sombrero Ranches, Snow Mountain Ranch is located in Granby near Winter Park on the YMCA grounds. While Sombrero has several stables in the state, the Snow Mountain Ranch location is the only one that offers sleigh rides. The rides follow scenic back-country trails groomed Courtesy photo for snowshoeing and the horses. The Snow Riders are bundled up and ready to head out at the Aspen Lodge. Mountain Ranch uses draft horses to pull rotund mares, Lady and Sadie, are around. If you are their sleighs through the picturesque woods drinking hot cocoa, they love to steal some hot chocolate around the YMCA grounds. and marshmallows.” “We have new teams this year since several of our New this year to Snow Mountain Ranch is a one horse teams retired last year,” said Manager Sarah Hubbellopen sleigh that seats two people for a romantic ride Engler. “We have Percherons, Belgians and Clydesdales. perfect for a proposal or winter wedding. While Snow Everyone loves the Clydesdales because of Budweiser, Mountain Ranch is located at the YMCA, you do not although I think the most popular team is Hank, Tank have to be a guest of the YMCA to come enjoy a sleigh and Chad who are three 19-hand Percherons. People ride. love having the big guys pull their sleigh, and they love “We can accommodate large groups, keep prices family petting the horses and taking pictures with them.” friendly and, while we don’t have live entertainment, Hubbell-Engler feels the most popular ride is the often someone pulls out a guitar and plays,” said dinner sleigh ride, but unique to the Snow Mountain Hubbell-Engler. Ranch is the historic Rowley Homestead ride. The Snow Mountain Ranch is open seven days a “This is a great ride for the family because we take week including the holidays. For reservations call everyone on the sleigh to the Homestead where there is 970-887-1999 or visit the website www.sombrero.com/ a fire going. Guests enjoy the fire, drink hot cocoa and custompages/sleigh_rides.asp. usually the kids get into snowball fights,” said HubbellEngler. “You have to watch out, though, if our team of

Our family at the Surveyor

wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! Becky Rudy Jo Eli Susan

Jan John Heidi Bob Kathleen Mark


Christmas in Berthoud 2012