Michele Grgas Thomas The Triplicate

With Halloween and the elections behind us, it's officially time to get serious about the big days ahead.

For me, there's a new celebration on the November calendar honoring the youngest member of our family, my granddaughter Kayla, born Nov. 6 last year. There's a princess-themed first birthday party planned at the other grandmother's house Saturday and I'm in charge of the menu.

I'm thrilled to be part of Kayla's happy birthday blast with my sons and family followed by the Ducks game. I'm under pressure to produce a stunning buffet befitting a princess and the number one college team in the nation!

In addition to planning the birthday/tailgate party, I've been busy

getting started on Thanksgiving. At our house Thanksgiving begins with

breakfast Thursday morning and ends after brunch Sunday. It's always a

fun family get-together and this year we'll have the added excitement of

a 1-year-old and three visiting grand-dogs.

I've started my grocery list, ordered the turkey and made contact

with my cranberry connection. In the evenings I peruse cookbooks and

magazines seeking inspiration. While researching holiday food ideas, I'm

also looking for tree decorating ideas.

The Sixteenth Annual Festival of the Trees is Saturday, Dec. 4. The

event, sponsored by the Crescent City Emblem Club, is, like my

granddaughter, new to me last year and very special. Businesses and

individuals are invited to donate a trimmed tree. The trees (last year

about 30) line the perimeter of Veteran's Memorial Hall during a

luncheon and fashion show.

Anyone who buys a raffle ticket has a chance to win a tree and the

proceeds benefit great local causes like Santa's Workshop, Troop Support

and high school scholarships.

I attended the Festival for the first time last year and was so

impressed with the event and the spirit behind it that The Triplicate is

donating a tree this year. I'm not sure yet what it's going to look

like. Last year there were live trees, artificial trees, table-top trees

andndash; trees decorated in 30 different themes. I was lucky enough to win a

4-foot patio tree with ornaments handmade by members of our local 4-H


If you're interested in decorating and donating a tree andndash; wouldn't

it be something if we could double the number of trees this year andndash;

please call Charlotte at 954-4530. Trees are donated by individuals,

organizations or businesses. They can be any size, fresh or artificial,

and decorated to reflect your personality or taste.

The luncheon at noon on Dec. 4 costs only $10 and features a

fashion show by Chere's Boutique. Luncheon and raffle tickets are

available at Del Norte Office Supply and McPherren's Tax Service.

Reach Michele Thomas, The Daily Triplicate's publisher, at

mthomas@triplicate.com, 464-2141, or stop by 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.