12 Days of Great Falls Cheer

The holiday season is kicking off and here at The Electric, we want to share a bit of our holiday spirit.

This reporter does prefer to wait a bit longer to break out the holiday decorations and Christmas music, but lots of community events are coming and with a little help from her friends and the community, has concocted our own dose of holiday cheer.

Here’s the basic framework of what I’ve dubbed 12 Days of Great Falls Cheer and more will be coming throughout the season for each of the days.

There will be lots of ways to participate, share and spread the holiday spirit.

Brace yourselves, folks, I don’t get to go home for Christmas this year and there are few things I love more than sharing the holiday spirit with my friends and well, everyone, so you’re about to get all of my holiday cheer, amplified to do a little good while I’ll be playing every version of my favorite Christmas song, O Holy Night, and if I’m not paying attention, you might even catch me singing it.

To get you thinking, I’ll share one of my favorite holiday memories.

I was in my hometown of Yorktown, Va. for Christmas about a decade ago. My church made a regular visit to the local veterans hospital for holiday caroling and as a longtime member of the church choir, of course, I was there. On that particular visit, I met a Korean War veteran, Mac, in his 70s, who was just the sweetest man and we got to talking and ended up as pen pals. He had the staff send me emails and we sent cards to each other. When I was home,even after moving to Montana, I went back to visit him a few times. Mac was always happy to see me, wanting nothing more than a friend to talk to.

He passed away a few years later and I can only hope he knew how much he meant to me and that he will forever be one of my favorite Christmas memories. I still wish I’d sent him a few more cards, or visited one last time.

That, to me, is Christmas. Nothing shiny or fancy, just genuine human connection that was a pure, simple and unforgettable joy.

My Christmas wish for you Great Falls, is to find those pure, simple joys.

12 Days of Great Falls Cheer

Nov. 16: Holiday Gift Guide launch as the holiday shopping season starts.

Nov. 18: Ladies Night for downtown shopping and festivities. Think about planning holiday craft/wreath making days since those options are expanding, but also filling up quickly!

Nov. 23: Great Falls Grateful: Share what your grateful for on social with #gfgrateful and/or send an email to jenn@theelectricgf.com and we’ll compile a post of all those things we’re thankful for this year. If you’re like me, there’s a lot to be thankful for.

Nov. 27: Parade of Lights with the downtown window display competition and it’s Small Business Saturday so get out there and support your local businesses.

Nov. 30: Day of Giving: we’ll have information on local nonprofits and how/what to donate.

Dec. 3: Community Traditions: Share your holiday traditions with us via social or email them to jenn@theelectricgf.com. It’s the Christmas Stroll and we’ll be featuring some other local classics like the Symphony holiday concert and the trolley tours.

Dec. 7: Volunteer day: We’ll have a list of holiday volunteer opportunities and are encouraging the community to get out there and contribute to your community through volunteerism on this day, or taking this day to plan a future volunteer activity.

Dec. 9: Eat, Drink and be Merry: In between the shopping, spend some time eating, drinking and being merry all over town.

Dec. 14: Random Act of Kindness Day: Do something, anything, nice for someone else around you. Share any random acts of kindness bestowed upon you on The Electric’s post or by email jenn@theelectricgf.com. We’re pretty sure there’s a lot of good left in the world, particularly in our own community.

Dec. 16: Give a gift. Speaking Socially will be hosting their annual toy giveaway (you can donate to the cause), find an Angel Tree to give a gift to someone who may not have gifts coming under their tree and plan to check out Candy Cane Lane Dec. 17-18.

Dec. 21: Holiday movies and holiday stories. Check out movie night at The Newberry on Dec. 22 and watch for our very special version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Dec. 23: Winter activity day: Get outside, go skiing, snowshoeing, hit the ice at the Great Falls Ice Plex, visit Bighorn Outdoor Specialists. Bonus activity that’s weather dependent: community snowball fight/build a snowman day!