The holidays are upon us, and as I sit here next to my new Avalon double ski travel bag, I can’t stop thinking of shredding pow and parks in Colorado next month. But we all know the holidays are all about spreading the cheer, and even though I was non-stop at work yesterday from 7:30AM to 5:00PM, it was one of the more fullfilling days I’ve had in quite some time. For the past 5 years or so, Toggenburg has used the day before Christmas as an opportunity to give back to the community. By bringing in 2 canned goods or simply making a charitable $5 donation, patrons received an all day lift ticket. Over 2000 tickets were given away yesterday, yielding 3 overflowing truck loads of food and about $300 to the local food shelter. Being a part of this in itself gave me a pretty great feeling, but all the families who came out to ski yesterday were the icing on the cake. Numerous adults made comments about how they haven’t skied in over 15 years, “It’s pretty tough to get out on the slopes in Texas” or “We don’t see this kind of snow in Georgia!” It’s pretty awesome hearing first time skiers come in after a day on the slopes and claim that they “had the best time of my life!” As cliche as it may sound, these little things really made me feel the true spirit of the holidays.

As the day came to an end, however, it was the kids who really topped it all off for me. A mother came up to me asking if we had equipment small enough for her youngest child, who watched her brothers and sisters ski all day from the bottom of the hill. I grabbed the smallest boots and skis we had in the shop, and sure enough, they fit perfectly. Her mom’s expression was priceless, and seeing the two year old hugging the skis as if they were her own, was simply awesome. I know that Toggenburg’s Santa was also a huge hit, as two little girls came in after they were done skiing, searching for the Santa they met earlier out on the hill. I had to tell them that Santa left early for the North Pole, but they were thrilled when I handed them 2 broken candy canes that Santa had left behind. Again, I hate to be cliche, but it’s pretty awesome to see something as mundane as two broken candy canes light up a face. I really do have the best job, ever…

I wouldn’t have this job without the people around me, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who make everything happen. Naturally my family and friends, without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today (Thanks for working at Togg for over 20 years Mom!). But just as importantly, I’m incredibly thankful for all the people who help me out in my ambitious ventures at Toggenburg. My park crew is awesome, without you guys the park would not be one of the best in the state. While I was swamped in the shop yesterday, my boy Jack SussBunny headed up the installation of 5 rail features, of which I have heard nothing but rave reviews. It’s nice to know that I can leave these guys to finish up a job and they’ll absolutely kill it. The other group of people I’d like to thank is all the rental shop workers. Though none of them may ever read this, it’s important for everyone to know how hard they work and how much of a help they have been to me in my first year. Without these guys and gals, my life would be way more difficult. So thank you, (caution: yet another cliche to follow) everyone who has helped me along the way and everyone who continues helping me in my  journey to better the greatest little ski area in the US, or at least in NY haha.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and thanks for reading. Leave comments so I know what you want me to talk about in the future! Time for beers with the family, thanks everyone!