December’s thoughts turn to decorating Christmas trees

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 — I have begun to think about Christmas trees. December seems to trigger such thoughts. To make sure I was not alone I did a little Internet research and found at least 25 to 30 million other people are thinking about getting a tree to decorate. How do I know? That’s how many real trees are sold each year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Living in the middle of Lassen National Forest I will not be purchasing a tree grown on one of the farms across the United States but instead I will make my selection from the choices found on these mountains. In this endeavor I am part of a minority — 85 percent purchase precut trees and only 14 percent cut their own.

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County hosts many events to brighten your Christmas spirit

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 — With Thanksgiving behind us, the rush toward Christmas Day always picks up speed. Believe it or not, Santa Claus arrives in just a little more than three weeks. Wow.

The good news is Lassen County is the place to be if you’re seeking a little Christmas cheer, and sometimes it seems as if nearly every resident must be involved in one kind of holiday shindig or another.

Check out our Arts and Entertainment Calendar and our At A Glance column for a listing of normal every day occurrences and special holiday events across Lassen County from Westwood to Doyle and everywhere in between.

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Thanksgiving always brings a flood of memories

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 — I can’t even begin to think about Thanksgiving dinner without remembering the wonderful days of my youth. How I wish I could go back. With her Texas roots, my mother believed in that good, old-fashioned Southern hospitality, and she pulled out all the stops when holiday season arrived.

Holiday cooking became a bit more complicated after my father died and my mother remarried. My stepfather, a follower of a Hindu-like sect called Radha Soami, consumed no meat or eggs, and he even kept a picture of his turbaned and bearded master, Sant Charan Singh, on a bookcase shelf in their bedroom.

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The countdown to Christmas is on — Help Santa and your local merchants

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 — There are only 28 shopping days left before Christmas, and we encourage you to use them thoughtfully. Before you click “submit order” or slide your credit card out of town, ask yourself, “Is this something I could buy locally?”

Yes, this is another “shop local” pitch, but it’s also a realistic one. We realize there are some gifts that just can’t be purchased locally, and some bargains are just too good to pass up. But there are many times when local stores have the right gift at a competitive price. It’s the same with many proprietors throughout Lassen County — they strive to stock their shelves with items tailored for their customers. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

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It’s 2014. Why is the wage gap still an issue?

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 — At the beginning of my final semester in college in 1988, I stood in line to pay my tuition just like 45,000 other students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

  I handed the guy behind the payment counter a check for $608.09. He had no neck and was wearing one of those “wife beater” muscle shirts.

  “Hey you, what da hell is this?” Mr. No-Neck snapped at me. “You’re in-state, so your tuition is $868.70.”

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