It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” that’s for sure! And I don’t just mean the white lights lining the downtown streets or the ornate homes on the block. Since the beginning of the month we’ve received more than a foot of snow in our yard, and the cooler temperatures are keeping the dreamy soft, snowy banks from melting for the time being. In true Colorado form, snowy spells are followed by crystal clear blue skies and a warming sunshine — making it perfect for after-school play for the girls!

We wanted to give you an idea of where we are located, so follow this slideshow from just south of downtown — where the rocky terrain freshly dusted with snow is a spectacular sight — up the “hill” to our neighborhood, which is about 7,500 feet in elevation. It’s quite a change from our neighborhood in Portland’s southwest hills, where we were lucky to get a dusting of snow about twice a year at 500 feet above sea level.

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Besides enjoying the snow, we’re also getting a headstart on celebrating Christmas with festivities at school and in town. The day after Thanksgiving was the official start of the season’s celebrations with a parade of Carolers downtown — accompanied by Santa himself — which kicked off a town procession to the lighting of the city’s gigantic Christmas Tree (a live one, of course — it’s Colorado after all!) The girls are attending St. Columba School, which does an excellent job of honoring Christmas with class performances. Claire sang in the Star Choir with her pre-K friends during the day, and Audrey performed as one of the “Good News Angels” with the rest of her first-grade class in an evening performance. The slideshow also includes photos from after her performance.

But the highlight of our pre-Christmas celebrating will be a ride on the historic Durango Railroad next weekend, when it will be decked out for a “Polar Express” themed train ride. We’ll let you know how it goes!

— Renée Gotcher