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Chef Laura: The gold standard of an Olde Tyme Christmas

‘Twas three weeks before Christmas, when all through the state

Every creature was rushing, hoping not to be late.

Most presents were bought at malls with scant care,

In hopes that family would be fond of those wares.

Our kiddos were rockin’ the latest threads,

While visions of X-Boxes danced in their heads.

And mamma in her yoga pants, and I in my North Face,

Had just braved the crowds…what a disgrace!


All the holiday commercials did clatter,

Over discounts and “door-busters” served up on a platter.

Away to Park Meadows we flew like a flash,

Tore open my wallet and emptied my cash.


We left the parking lot sad and depleted,

Our Christmas spirit broken – it needed to be treated.

When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature town, complete with reindeer.


With a sign arched above, greeting “Howdy Folks!”

I knew in a moment - and then I spoke,

“We’ve stumbled upon Golden, I suppose,

‘Where the West Lives’ and Coors freely flows.”

With the town glistening, all decked out in lights,

A quaint hustle and bustle on this December night.

‘Twas their annual Candlelight walk, the flames flickered,

A welcome pause from the malls, no one bickered.

Now cycle shop! Now dive bar! Now Buffalo Rose!

On, deli! On, Woody’s! On Baby Doe’s clothes!

To the top of Mt. Zion! To the top of South Table!

Now support local business! I knew we were able.


We made a few stops, buying top quality gear,

Then found a cozy place for cocoa and beer.

I silenced my smartphone, not one little peep,

This magical moment uninterrupted by beeps.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the hill,

The voices of angels, a holiday thrill.

As I listened to the carolers sing their sweet sound,

I surveyed the scene and spun myself ‘round.


Like a Norman Rockwell painting come to fruition,

I knew this would become a yearly tradition.

At the junction of Mayberry and Main Street USA,

Lies a place called Golden, not far away.


Whether here, Estes Park, or Manitou,

Breckenridge, Durango or the Denver Zoo.

Ride a train, toss a cake, Red Rum at the Stanley,

Run with Santa, see the elephants, and buy crafts so manly.


But if Colorado Rockies aren’t within reach,

Maybe you live on the coast by the beach?

There’s likely a local village near you,

That would welcome your family and shopping needs too.


Kick off this weekend with old-fashioned cheer,

Small towns are not just for snagging souvenirs.

Take a stroll bundled up with your main squeeze,

And tackle that Christmas list if you please.


After my family’s delightful diversion,

We packed up our bags from this successful excursion.

I heard myself exclaim, as we drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas Colorado, and to all a good-night!"

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Laura Cook Newman

Laura Cook Newman is a professional Chef and Training Manager for a Fortune 500 food manufacturer. She earned her chops at Johnson & Wales University, has an MBA in Marketing and hosts a blog for behind-the-scenes insights on the food service industry. Contact her at www.ThreeHotsAndaCot.net

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