Christmas craze gives way to powder days |

Christmas craze gives way to powder days

Tamara Miller

EAGLE COUNTY – ‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the valley, tourists gathered to spend time with their families. But perhaps not the Rechner family. When asked if they would prefer to spend time with each other on Christmas Day or hit the slopes, there was a long pause. “That’s a dangerous question,” said daughter Melissa. “Oh, we better say family,” said mom Betsy. “Dad will say skiing,” said brother Jonathan.Asked again, the clan had revised their response. “With the family, of course,” Betsy said. “Any other day, I’d rather be skiing.”

It is a dilemma, naturally. A trip to Vail is a wonderful way to bring family together for Christmas. But as they say, there are no friends on a powder day and maybe the same goes for family. Time to go homeThankfully, the absence of snow lately made the decision a little easier for Stephen Bahn. He and his family were planning to fly back to their home in Tennessee Friday. Bahn actually didn’t mention the lack of new snow as a factor, but southerners are known for being polite.The fact that Bahn also is nursing a knee injury sustained when a skier ran over him while he was sitting on the slopes didn’t influence his decision either. Going home for Christmas was the plan all along, he said. However, neither family nor snowboarding are a Christmas tradition for daughters Jordan Walker, 14, and Christina Bahn, also 14. “Opening presents,” Christina said. “Probably snowboarding after that.”

Can’t decide? Do bothOhio residents Jim and Rena Bolger are avoiding the problem all together. They will be skiing and spending time with family at the same time. “Because of the little ones, we had a pre-Christmas Day,” Rena said. The family had opened most of their presents while they were in Ohio. They planned to open a few more presents on the real Christmas Day and then hit the slopes together.’Tis the season to be a localFor many Eagle Countians, Christmas Day is neither a day for play or family togetherness. It’s just another work day. Natalya Shaban, a Safeway employee, was scheduled for work at 10 a.m. Christmas Day.

In reality, though, it’s no skin off her back. Shaban is from Russia, where Christmas is celebrated in January. She wouldn’t mind having the day off to celebrate Christmas American style, though.”It’s really not that big of deal,” she said. “(In Russia) New Year’s is a bigger deal. We have a fun party and a lot of people get together. We drink champagne until midnight. New Year’s is a much bigger holiday.”Unfortunately, she has to work that day, too. Tony Powell, however, was planning to reap the benefits of prior planning and ingenuity. An Eagle resident and University of Colorado college student, Powell decided to make some extra cash while home for the holidays by selling Christmas decorations. He was stationed in front of Vail’s Safeway Friday trying to make a few last-minute sales. Once Christmas arrives, Powell’s out of a job.”That’s just what I intended,” he said. “That way I can spend Christmas with my family.”Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or

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