Holiday Traditions


Karli Bainbridge, Staff Reporter

Christmas time has always been magical to me. There are certain traditions that I hold close to me.  Since I was little Dad had always been in charge of putting up Christmas Mountain. My garage was full of tangled lights and 20+ year old Christmas decorations all year round.

When it’s time, Dad loads them in his truck, and starts up S Mountain. My mom, my brother and I were always beside him helping him and the volunteers. I vividly recall all the late nights, turning on the mountain before it was time, making sure it looked okay. All the untangling of lights and the painful falls over the sharp rocks. All the times of lying on the cold S looking over the town. A couple years back my dad let me design my own light creation. It looked like a purple firework and was proudly broadcast over the town. The experience was so important to me and something I looked forward to.

But this year was different. My father decided to completely throw my constant begging and pleading aside and give up being the leader of setting up the lights. Something I held so close to my heart was pulled away with no remorse. I know my dad had good reasons to let this beloved thing go, but this tradition has just really taught me how to love the holidays.

Although the task was always something that was tiring and laborious, the outcome was so worth it.  My family and I were the ones who lit up the during the Parade of Lights. While people waited with magic in their eyes, we flipped the switch and the mountain turned on. My dad loved the mountain too. It was a special bond for our family. My dad told me I can still volunteer, but I don’t think it would feel the same. I think he just doesn’t know how special it felt to know the town depended on us for one of Salida’s biggest Christmas traditions.

I know I may sound whiny or dramatic, but honestly this was such an important part of my life. I am still excited to see S Mountain lit up, but it will take some time knowing that it’s not mine anymore.