That spirit of Christmas

Peyton Allen, then 4, is seen through a Christmas tree while waiting in line to see Santa Claus during the 2015 Breakfast with Santa at the Laramie Plains Civic Center.

Several organizations in Laramie are celebrating the holiday season by hosting events such as the 12th annual Breakfast with Santa for families to take pictures with Santa and several holiday bazaars to find unique Christmas presents.

Tickets for the 12th annual Hospice of Laramie Breakfast with Santa are $6 for children and $3 for adults and can be purchased at the event, which goes from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Laramie Plains Civic Center’s south gym near the corner of Custer Street and Seventh Street. Executive director Terri Longhurst said the event offers families and opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with hospice along with other holiday events happening in Laramie.

“It is a celebration for the holidays, a celebration for family and it is an opportunity for people to see that hospice is a joyous place,” Longhurst said. “It is a nice event and it fits with everything that’s going on such as the parade and holiday bazaars.”

She said hosting Breakfast with Santa shows the community that hospice celebrates life and spending time with family which is something hospice patients often say is one of the most important things when coming to the end of a life.

“It is about taking a pause and being with family in that moment and having it be more than a quick shooting into a line and taking pictures,” Longhurst said. “Really what matters, what it boils down to is family and that is why we do this.”

Saturday also offers several shopping opportunities at holiday bazaars such as the Snowy Mountain Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m.-4 p.m Saturday at the Laramie Historic Train Depot, 600 S. First St.; St. Paul’s Christmas Bazaar from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at 1800 Grand Ave. and the Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Albany County Fairgrounds, 2934-2994 S. Third St.

Snowy Mountain Christmas Bazaar founder Ashlyn Courtwright writes in an email interview, shopping at bazaars provides customers with opportunities to purchase locally made one-of-a-kind items, not available anywhere else.

“There is something for everyone at a show like this,” Courtwright writes. “You get … a large variety of items and no vendors are competing with the next (to sell items such as) wool mittens and hats, Christmas wood crafts, quilted blankets and fashion designer clothing.”

Dream Acres Emu Ranch Owner Mark Corbridge said holiday shopping experiences such as the bazaars provides him with an opportunity to better inform potential customers about his products when he and his wife go to the bazaar at the Albany County fairgrounds.

“Most of our sales are online but it is nice to be in front of people and discuss the benefits of emu (products),” Corbridge said. “Holiday bazaars are usually better than how we normally sell things because people are looking for Christmas presents. Things like the fused glass that my wife makes is a big seller because they are great gift items.”

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