Only three days to Christmas, and some of us must be wondering "is it all really worth it?"
Let's face it, Christmas can be a hassle. But the shopping, decision-making, decorating, baking and visiting can also create lifelong memories.
The staff at The Western News shared these stories about Christmas:
Photographer and typesetter Paul Sievers - For two weeks, I've been thinking about what to get my 4-year-old grandson, Matthew. He's getting a flashlight. He loves to shut the lights out at bedtime, shine it on the ceiling and follow the circles. Kids go for the simplest things. The other day, he was playing with yogurt lids. He's also getting a toy bank from Cardinal Hardware.
Advertising sales rep. Charles McFarland - Putting up Christmas lights is my favorite thing. I know kids drive around with their families to look at them. It took me about three hours to put them up on a very cold Saturday. I remember my feet were killing me. Motivation pushed me to finish and knowing I was on call in four hours for Libby Volunteer Ambulance.
Office manager Teresa Johnston - Hiding the Christmas lights from my husband, Ryan, so he wouldn't put any more up. Ever see "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?" I call him Mr. Griswold. Our home on Klatawah Street has a cross on the side of it, a star on the garage door, and pretty much every inch is covered with lights.
Advertising Sales Rep. Sammi Kendall - I have a serious problem peeking at Christmas gifts. I want to know what's in them. As long as I find out, I'm OK. My boyfriend, Mark Thom, hides my gifts at his sister's house so I don't seem them. I was very proud of myself when I went to Holly's house the other day. I didn't even try to find them.
Publisher and advertising manager Barb Swenson - I concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas. The joy I have in playing the organ at St. John Lutheran Church, being with family, enjoying the grandchildren and looking forward to a new one.
Ad designer Stephanie Berry - My fiance, Shawn, always wants to give me my gifts before Christmas. I tell him "no," wait until Christmas like everyone else. But he always asks. I think he's just so excited and says it would save him from having to wrap them.
Classified and circulation manager Patty McLain - I'm always up at 4 a.m. on Christmas Day because I'm more excited than my kids are to open presents. I wake up my kids - A.J., 16; Trevar, 15; and Kelsey, 13 - when I get up so that I can be sure to see their faces when they open their presents
Reporter Gwen Albers - I found the most wonderful Charlie Brown tree for my first Montana Christmas. It makes me smile every time I look at it.
Editor Brent Shrum - Getting my first BB gun as a kid seemed like such a big deal. It was Daisy's top of the line model and looked just like a Winchester Model 94. After that, I was also given my dad's old BB gun, which had been in a closet at my grandparents' house. I had previously only been allowed to look at it every now and then with adult supervision. Oddly enough, even though I had my very own brand new BB gun, I think I liked that old one better, because it had been my dad's when he was a kid and it seemed so old and mysterious. Some things never change - the rifle I used for hunting this season was made 60 years ago in Yugoslavia.