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christmas cheer.

Is Christmas music appropriate in October? Depends who you ask. But snow? Nobody’s OK with that.

But weeks and weeks after first seeing the fluffy white stuff way too early, yesterday’s snow could not have been better timed. Sure, it made the morning commute a bit slick and kids didn’t even get 2-hour delay out of the deal, but it perfectly announced the unofficial start of the Christmas Season in Eastern Washington: the opening of the Christmas Bureau!

The Christmas Bureau is an annual holiday assistance program coordinated by Catholic Charities, the Spokesman-Review and Volunteers of America. It provides toys, books and grocery store vouchers for thousands of low-income individuals and families.

And with apologies to those who live in warmer climates and string cactuses with Christmas lights, what Christmas is complete without snow? Without snow, could Ralphie’s friend Flick have stuck his tongue to the flagpole in A Christmas Story? Could Clark have set a new land speed sledding record in Christmas Vacation?

And just like the kids in those great Christmas movies wake up to fresh powder and gifts under the tree, the Christmas Bureau makes sure kids in our region have a Christmas morning to get excited about. Every family who comes to the Christmas Bureau will get to select a new gift for every child aged 17 and under, choose a new book for every kid aged 14 and under and take home a voucher good at major local grocery stores for a Christmas dinner. The Christmas Bureau provides a complete Christmas Day experience for families that otherwise can’t afford it.

This year, the Christmas Bureau will be open from Dec. 11–20 at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center (but it will be closed on Sunday, Dec. 15). Anyone who is interested in coming must bring the appropriate documentation for every person in their household (see the graphic below). There will be free childcare, representatives from local services, festive entertainment and an army of volunteer elves to help with the gift selecting experience.

The Christmas Bureau looks forward to helping everyone in our region enjoy a memorable Christmas. So blast that Christmas music because Santa Claus, and the Christmas Bureau, are coming to town!



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