Holidays

Generations have grown up with the tales spun by Charles Dickens, and that’s particularly true around the holidays. Characters like Ebenezer Scrooge and young Tiny Tim have become cultural icons, and a reminder to take stock of our lives, celebrate each day, and care for those around us.

Boise National Forest

Word around the Northwest from some vendors is that there could be a shortage of real Christmas trees this year. That could lead to higher prices. But the National Forest Service says they have plenty of trees just waiting for families to take home while also making memories.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Most people leave their childhood hobbies behind them when they grow up. (It’s hard to justify your Beanie Baby collection in college, for example.) But for members of the Old Boise N-Scale Model Railroad Club, their passion has only gotten stronger with age.

“We just love trains, and this is great therapy from our day jobs," says club member Jim Brostmeyer.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

We told you last week that Monday will be the busiest mailing day of the year. But exactly how busy will it get?

In Idaho alone, more than 2.4 million cards, letters and packages are expected to be mailed today. That breaks down to 100,800 pieces per hour, 1,680 per minute or 28 per second.

Across the country, 611 million pieces of mail will be mailed today. That’s 7,000 per second.

Throughout the holiday season, postal carriers across the U.S. will deliver 750 million packages. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2015 and double the number from just four years ago.

Traditions of Christmas

During the holidays, you can enjoy choirs, plays and theater from local and national groups – both big and small. Now Nampa has become home to a full-blown Radio City Music Hall-like production, featuring local singers, dancers, and performers. It began with a leap of faith.

Called the Traditions of Christmas, this show is a huge undertaking, with around 65 local cast members, 400 costumes, kick-line dancing, comedic skits and a nativity scene with live animals.

Screen grab from YouTube user Unstoppabull 360

Fourth of July revelers traveling up the Highway 55 corridor will encounter a few changes at popular party spots this year.

The communities of McCall and Crouch are striving to offer visitors and residents a more family-friendly vibe.

In Crouch, the tradition of setting off fireworks in city center was started for a good reason: to draw the celebration away from wildfire-prone lands nearby.

But escalating debauchery over the years has spurred the city to lean away from a party that's become known as 'Chaos in Crouch.'

Reddit

Whether your style is ostentatious and bold like Clark Griswold or more subtle-yet-savvy like Snoopy, there's a Christmas lighting display out there for everyone. And thanks to a crowd-sourced Google map on Reddit, you and your family can cruise around town looking at dozens of dazzling houses.

WCN 24/7 / Flickr

Tis the season when Idahoans will be getting their Christmas trees. For some, that means a trip to the Boise or Payette National Forest; a holiday tradition in some families.

Permits to cut down Christmas trees in Idaho forests went on sale this weekend.

Aaron Brown / Flickr

More people around the country, including in Idaho, will be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this week. AAA projects that 4.2 percent more Americans will travel 50 miles or more this week compared to last year.

Dave Carlson, with AAA Idaho, says it will be a busy time on the roads and at the airport.

“We are expecting overall 237,000 Idahoans will be traveling," Carlson says. "That represents about 14 to 15 percent of the population and about 204,000 of those will be doing so by motor vehicle.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Some neighborhoods see a lot more trick-or-treaters than others Halloween night. One of the busiest Halloween hotspots is Boise’s Harrison Boulevard.

We caught up with Harrison homeowner Scott Petersen as he was painting the walkway to his front door with a rectangular sponge attached to a handle.

“At the moment we’re actually creating our yellow brick road," Petersen says. "I found this little tool at Home Depot and my girlfriend found the paint, which is washable, which is critical.”

Monday is a big day for Mexican-American bakeries across the Northwest. It’s Three Kings Day or the Epiphany: A Christian celebration of the day the magi came bearing gifts for Jesus.

Potato
Courtesy of Sharolyn and Chris Schofield

A year ago, Dylan Cline hosted a dinner party. On the TV was a documentary about New York's famous New Year's Eve ball drop. It gave Cline an idea: What about lowering a giant potato over Boise’s downtown next New Year's? 

His guests laughed at him.

“They were like, 'that’s a fun idea but if it could be done, it would have been done.' So, I took that as a challenge.”

The same shiny gift wrap and bright bows that make Christmas presents so enticing are exactly what give recycling centers headaches the day after Christmas.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

You’ll find menorahs all over Dorothy Geffon’s immaculate Boise home. These candelabras are the symbol of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Each night of the eight-day festival, Jews light one candle or oil-light. Some of Geffon’s menorahs are traditional. Others…not so much.

Take the wind-up one that hops around on little plastic legs. “This I have for the little kids,” she says. “It’s fun for the youngest grandchildren.”