’Tis the season of festivities | VailDaily.com

’Tis the season of festivities

Hello, December! How does it manage to sneak up on us every year? And how does it generate so much excitement, and stress, in 31 short days? December brings all these things all around the country but I think we feel the effects more acutely living in a resort community and in an alpine winter climate. The dramatic shift to a new season and all it brings creates a whirlwind of activities, emotions and business. This time of year right before the obligatory “reflecting on the past year” ruminations, we have a chance to throw some of the everyday conventional wisdom aside and enjoy all the season’s offerings and fully take in the joy of why we have chosen to live and work here. So in the spirit of the holidays, ’tis the season to make lists and here is a list of what I have noticed about our community.

Season for Giving

’Tis the season for giving. For a small community, we have a ton of big hearts. You hear it all the time that we are a valley full of doers. That attitude translates not only into business vitality but also into giving back to your community in whatever way you can. Between all of the bell ringing, pantry stocking and gift giving the Salvation Army and other local nonprofits participate in, there are many ways to get involved during the season and throughout the year. Colorado Gives Day was last week and raised $28.4 million dollars, an 8 percent increase over last year’s donations. Forty local nonprofits participated this year and pulled together to get the word out county-wide. My kids and I had a great time honking and waving at the volunteers in the roundabouts on our daily commute. Our valley certainly embodies the “Give where you live, Give where you play” mantra!

Season to Shop Locally

During the winter season, we are constantly focused on providing the best possible experience for everyone else, but you can only be as good as you feel. Take that extra time to recharge. It’s important.

’Tis the season to shop … at your local businesses. Gone are the days when the only options for fulfilling your holiday wish list were in Denver or online. Our business community has grown in ways that reflect the local and visitor’s needs. Shopping where you live not only supports our fellow business owners but stimulates our economy which is good for all of us. Many of our local retail centers are holding holiday specials and gatherings ranging from visits with Santa, his reindeer and “the world’s tallest elf”. In Vail, Solaris is hosting a Holiday Hop this Wednesday with ice skating, Mort the Moose and more. Right on its heels is Vail Holidaze on Friday through Saturday. Activities range from paper lantern workshops, Noel Nights in both Lionshead and Vail Village, ice skating at Arrabelle and Solaris and the grand finale of the tree lighting at the Covered Bridge. Local businesses will be open and families will have the opportunity to shop and see what Vail is all about. Cookie decorating, s’mores and childcare provided by the Vail Recreation District will give parents the chance to check the last things off their lists or maybe even enjoy a quiet dinner in town.

Season to Be Jolly

’Tis the season to be jolly. This goes without saying because who can resist enjoying this time of year when friends old and new come out of the wood work to catch up whether it’s on the ski hill, over a cup of coffee or at a festive holiday party. Schools and theatrical groups are also hosting their holiday concerts and recitals. Spreading the joy is contagious!

’Tis the season to be busy. The holiday crowd has already started to arrive and they are ready to enjoy all Vail has to offer. Restaurant reservations lines are busy, mountain operations are busy preparing for the increased number of people on mountain, shops are stocked and attending to those last details. Busy is good for business. Keep smiling and enjoy the energy as smiles are contagious, too.

Deck the Halls

’Tis the season to deck the halls … and roundabouts. Thank you to the town of Vail for the lights in the main Vail roundabout and throughout town. They look amazing! I am a sucker for holiday lights and it all adds to the ambiance of being in one big snow globe all season long. I am headed into my 18th season here and I still feel that every time I am in town at night.

Take time for Yourself

’Tis the season to take time for yourself. As busy as we all get, it is also time to make sure we don’t overburden ourselves with schedules, commitments and everything else. Even if you can only sneak out of work, with permission of course, for a couple of runs on the hill … do it! The quick break and fresh air will do wonders. Or maybe a quiet cup of coffee is more your style, there are plenty of places around town to pop into that can provide that few moments of sanity. During the winter season, we are constantly focused on providing the best possible experience for everyone else, and we are really good at it, but you can only be as good as you feel, so take that extra time to recharge. It’s important.

So whatever this season means to you, I hope you have a wonderful one! Give back, work hard and enjoy it.

Stay involved and stay informed. If you are not already receiving the Vail Chamber and Business Association’s weekly newsletter, then email us at info@vailchamber.org to start receiving it. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber & Business Association and what we have to offer to businesses in and that do business in Vail, then call 970-477-0075 or email info@vailchamber.org. Based in Vail Village, our office is located on the top of level of the Vail Transportation Center. Stop by and say “hello.”

Alison Wadey is the executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.