Oh, friends. I must dig for this one today. Down into the depths, pulling it from that tank I have saved up from the summer months.

Waking up to a smattering of snow across my lawn did not make me feel good on this Friday morning.  You’d think the whole “It’s Friday” would trump these feelings of despair, but alas, it does not. Adding fuel to the fire was the hullabaloo of my children donning themselves in winter gear prior to the arrival of the bus this morning.

You would have thought I was sending them off to war instead of school.

However hectic and chaotic it was, they soon shuffled themselves off for the day and I had a chance to really ponder the effect of the snow on my mood.

I suppose it there’s one good thing to come of it, it does help put me in the mood for the upcoming Christmas by the Lake celebration. And the term ‘celebration’ doesn’t really do this event justice. The magical wonderment as our little tourist town by the lake is transformed into something out of a Hallmark Christmas movie fills me with such joy.

The event kicks off with One Vision’s 9th Annual Lights on 5K, a family-friendly run/walk where 100% of the proceeds go toward buying gifts for the many people with disabilities who are served by One Vision.  This is one of North Iowa’s most unique 5K events, as participants are encouraged to dress in holiday costume… especially using lights!

There’s even a kid’s run WITH Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Hope they’re in good shape after eating all those cookies!

This year, as an added treat, the Clear Lake Jaycees have decided to bring back the Polar Bear Plunge. Ever wondered how cold can cold really be? Maybe you should jump in the lake and find out!

While Christmas by the Lake might be the “official” kickoff as we countdown the days until jolly St. Nick makes his appearance with gifts under our tree, you can get a head start on all your holiday shopping, because the stores of Clear Lake are READY FOR YOU to shop local!

That’s right, friends. You can’t help but have a bit of spring in your step and a smile in your heart when you peruse the many offerings of our retail stores in town. When I say there’s something for everyone on your list, I’m not just spewing nonsensical words in your direction.

I actually mean it.

They’ve transformed their typical décor from ‘Nautical Stripes’ over to ‘Holiday Magic’ shifting the mood around town to that of goodness and cheer.

Well, Clear Lakers are typically bundles of goodness and cheer all year long…

I mean, we live at the Lake, right?

But something about this time of year makes it just that much more special.

So, I suppose I can look out my office window again and, instead of feeling dread and despair of the frigid months to come, find beauty the snow has created across our town.

Until next week my friends – stay warm!