With Thanksgiving wrapped up (I hope you had a nice one with your families and other loved ones), it’s natural to turn our thoughts to Christmas. It’s particularly easy to do that this year, with the white mountains surrounding us and the fluffy snowflakes that have fallen fairly regularly over the past weeks.
With Christmas, comes a lot of pressure to find the perfect gift, or the perfect tree or create the perfectly decorated home.
And I don’t want to be a Grinch. Or just repeat cliches about the season of giving.
But I can’t help but think some of that spirt of gratitude that surrounds Thanksgiving should extend into Christmas as well. Rather than focusing so much on gifts — or maybe in addition to gifts — we should find ways to have meaningful experiences with our families, friends and even members of our community.
I have tried to do this with my nieces and nephews, giving them a ticket to go ice skating or to a local play for Christmas instead of another toy that may not make it past New Year’s Day.
In Carson City and the region, it can be easy to do. There are so many activities going on during the holiday season.
This is by no means a comprehensive list — see the Nevada Appeal’s Holiday Events for a more complete calendar — but here are some ideas to get you started.
The lighting of the city’s tree will take place during the annual Carson City Silver and Snowflakes Festival of Lights at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Capitol. Carson City School District fifth-graders will be the featured carolers. Entertainment and a Christmas fair will follow at Telegraph Street.
The Nevada State Railroad Museum will run the 1910 self-propelled McKeen motor car with Santa every weekend from Dec. 5 to 20.
Children can visit with Santa and write him a letter at a special table, board the train, receive candy canes and take part in many other festivities. Santa Train tickets are $5.
Wild Horse Children’s Theater is putting on the holiday musical “Babes in Toyland” at 7 p.m. Fridays; at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 4-13 in the Brewery Arts Center’s Performance Hall. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for ages 4-12. For tickets, go to www.wildhorsetheater.com, or call 775-887-0438.
Indian tacos and nearly 50 vendors will be at a Christmas craft faire 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 4-5 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 6 in the gymnasium of Carson Colony, 2900 S. Curry St.
For those who have four-legged family members, there are activities for them as well.
Carson Animal Services Initiative will host pictures with Santa 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at Benson’s Feed and Tack, 2750 Highway 50. The cost, which includes digital copies and a 4-by-6-inch print, is $15. Go to www.friendsofcasi.org, or call 775-671-2413.
Santa will also visit Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital, 14 Enterprise Way, Dayton, from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 for free pictures with pets. Call 775-246-7775.
Whatever it is you choose to do, enjoy it. Spend time with those you love, and be present in that moment with them. Spend this holiday season in gratitude, and every day of it will be a gift.