Holiday traditions are awesome because they bring everyone together in unique ways. In Utah you would think that religious tradition would come in #1 on the list, but not so! Here are the top five super popular ones:

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#1-Decking the Halls: You've got to love how people go all out with decorations! Hanging lights, putting up trees, and adding all those sparkly ornaments and wreaths—turning homes into winter wonderlands is just so much fun. Just like in the movies you can see some houses from space!

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#2-Gift-Giving Galore: Who doesn't love receiving and giving presents? That's the heart of many celebrations. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, or Eid, exchanging gifts is a fantastic way to share joy and show appreciation for loved ones.

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#3-Cheers to Tradition: Holidays often come with religious or cultural customs. In Utah, you would think this would be higher on the list. Maybe people thought that it was just a 'given.' Whether it's attending services, lighting candles, or performing traditional rituals, these practices add depth and meaning to the celebrations.

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#4-Feast Mode ON: Oh yeah, the holiday season means digging into delicious meals! It's when families and friends gather around tables loaded with special dishes that have been passed down through generations. It's a feast fit for kings!

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#5-Jingle All the Way: Who can resist humming along to classic tunes or watching favorite holiday movies? We just went caroling through my brother and sister-in-laws neighborhood and it was awesome! From catchy carols to feel-good flicks, holiday music and entertainment put everyone in a merry mood!
These traditions might have slight variations based on where you are or what holiday you celebrate, but they're all about spreading happiness and making memories with the people who matter most. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

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Aaronee LOVES the country lifestyle. She has a great little farm with Alpacas, goats, dogs, cats and chickens! So yes, some.....stuff on her boots. ;) Aaronee's playlist has everything from Reba & Brooks & Dunn to Rascal Flatts & Garth to Miranda Lambert & Laney Wilson to Kane Brown & Morgan Wallen. She loves them all. ♥ Get her some chips and salsa or tater tots and a root beer float and she is set. She loves chatting on social media so make sure to hit her up on the Cat Country Utah Facebook page!

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Is The BIG ONE Coming Utah? Farmers Almanac Forecast

Karen Dutson
Karen Dutson
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We've already had some snowfall across Utah, but what is to come? When will we get dumped on? Lots of rain, snow and balmy temperatures are forecasted this winter because it's an El Nino year.

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It's expected to be seasonally stormy through December with rain and snow on and off but, the bigger amounts of snow come in January & February 2024

Here is what is What the Farmers Almanac has forecasted for Utah:

Southwest -Forecast for Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah: An El Niño could lead to "copious amounts of rain and snow across the entire Southwest," the Almanac forecasts. The Pacific Coast can expect a "stormy, snowy, and wet" second week of January followed, in the first week of February, by "heavy mountain snows" that will cover the western U.S., it forecasts.- Famers' Advance

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When will winter end? Winter temps and precipitation may hold on till early spring, with a possibility of snow during the first part of April. (We'll have to see what the groundhog has to say.)

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I'm so excited because it's time for holiday parties! I love getting together with friends and family and eating good eats. Cheese balls are a staple at holiday parties and you can always have the perfect appetizer ready to go with this easy make-and-store recipe.

(All of these photos are what you get when using AI. hahahahah)

What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....not quite
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....not quite
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I make enough for 3 small cheeseballs at a time so I can have a couple on hand for last minute appetizers.

What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....so weird
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....so weird. What's with the hair too?
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Recipe:
2 blocks of your favorite cream cheese
8oz of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 packet of dried onion soup mix
mix well and form into balls
What the prompt? photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party....OH MY GOSH HAHAHAHHAH
What the AI prompt?
'photo realistic people eating a cheeseball at a party'....OH MY GOSH HAHAHAHHAH
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That's it!
Now, I spruce it up by rolling it in chopped nuts or bacon, chopped green onions and different spices so it looks all fancy, but you don't have too. Put whatever you want in it to make it yours. Oooo hot sauce is good too.
Storing:
You can store wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for a week or so, or you can put it in the freezer wrapped and put in a freezer bag, for a little over a month. Just let it thaw out in the fridge a day or so before you need it. Do not roll it in the toppings until you are ready to serve it.
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Finding the best holiday treats in Utah can be a delightful experience, as the state offers a variety of bakeries, confectioneries, and specialty shops that cater to festive cravings. Here are some places in Utah where you can find delicious holiday treats:

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  • Gourmandise - The Bakery:
    • Located in Salt Lake City, Gourmandise is known for its delectable pastries, cakes, and desserts. During the holiday season, they often feature special treats and festive-themed baked goods.
  • RubySnap Fresh Cookies:
    • This cookie shop in Salt Lake City is famous for its unique and flavorful cookies. Check out their seasonal offerings for holiday-inspired treats.
  • Harmons Grocery:
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  • The Sweet Tooth Fairy:
    • With locations in various cities, The Sweet Tooth Fairy is a bakery known for its cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats. They usually have festive options during the holiday season.
  • Muddy Bees Bakery:
    • Located in Hurricane, Each baked good that they make comes from recipes handed down, and tried and true. They may have special holiday treats and desserts for you to enjoy.
  • The Chocolate Conspiracy:
    • For those who love artisanal chocolates, The Chocolate Conspiracy in Salt Lake City offers handcrafted, organic, and ethically sourced chocolates. Look out for their seasonal selections.
  • Mrs. Call’s Candy Company:
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  • Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread:
    • In Logan, Crumb Brothers is renowned for its artisan bread, pastries, and desserts. Check their holiday offerings for a taste of festive delights.
  • Schmidt's Pastry Cottage:
    • Located in downtown Salt Lake City, Schmidt's Pastry Cottage is a long-established bakery known for its cakes, pastries, and cookies. They may have seasonal treats for the holidays.
  • Farmstead Bakery:
    • Situated in downtown St. George. Farmstead is a local European-style bakery/patisserie. They have sandwiches, pastries and decadent doughnuts. Keep an eye out for their holiday specials.
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    Before visiting, it's a good idea to check the websites or social media pages of these establishments for information on holiday menus and seasonal offerings. Additionally, check your local farmers' markets and holiday festivals as they also feature vendors with unique and delicious treats.

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    Tis the Season, and sometimes we need a few ideas for gifts for our loved ones. Some people are just plain hard to shop for. Plus, we live in a society that just buys what we want and need. We don't wait for much. So how do you get that perfect gift? You choose something unique and local!

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    Buying local for holiday gifts is a wonderful way to support small businesses and your community. Here are some ideas for locally sourced gifts:

    Artisanal Foods:
    That's My Jam 435 facebook
    That's My Jam 435 facebook
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    A great Southern Utah idea is jam from 'That's My Jam 435.'

    Cat Country Morning Show Dj and Aarone with the owners of That's My Jam 435
    Cat Country Utah Morning Show DJ & Aaronee with the owners of That's My Jam 435
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    Lyndee Leavitt and Nadine Stratford make gourmet jams and jellies with as much local produce as they can. They taste amazing and look great too! 

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     Here are some of the pairings they came up with for us to try!  They were so yummy. These jams would be perfect for any holiday party that you need an appetizer for!

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    Handcrafted Jewelry:Dixie Rocks and FossilsEarth's Treasures Crystal Shop
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    They have a wide range of gift ideas.

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    Earth's Crystal Shop facebook
    Earth's Crystal Shop facebook
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    Check out Earth's Treasures Crystal Shop at their new location at 558 E. Riverside Dr #105 Saint George, UT 84790!

    Handmade Clothing or Accessories:
    Marie Norh facebook
    Marie Nohr facebook
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    We have a local lady that used to be my neighbor and she has her own line of clothing!

    Marie Nohr facebook
    Marie Nohr facebook
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    She uses everything too. She uses her scraps and makes jewelry & hair ties and scrunchies.

    Marie Norh facebook
    Marie Nohr facebook
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    Marie Nohr has done fashion shows around the world and she lives right here in Utah!

    Marie Norh
    Marie Norh Tuacahn Saturday Market facebook
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    Marie Nohr facebook
    Marie Nohr facebook
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    You can support her and  check out her styles at Www.maluxe.etsy.com and Www.marienohr.com

  • Books by Local Authors: Check out books written by local authors or books that celebrate the local culture, history, or cuisine of your area.
  • Artwork: Support local artists by purchasing paintings, photographs, or sculptures. These can be great additions to someone's home or office space.
  • Experiences: Consider gifting experiences like tickets to a local theater production, cooking classes, wine tastings, or spa treatments at a local spa or wellness center.
  • Gift Cards to Local Businesses: If you're unsure of someone's preferences, gift cards to local restaurants, cafes, boutiques, or spas can allow them to choose what they like while supporting local businesses.
  • Remember, the key to buying local is to explore the unique offerings available in your area. Supporting local businesses not only provides thoughtful gifts but also contributes to the growth and sustainability of your community.

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