Words brought to life for Christmas

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In 2012 I attended an event at the Coeur d’Alene Library’s Community Room to benefit the library foundation. Bits and Pieces featured readings by Jack Bannon, Ellen Travolta, Margaret Travolta and Roger Welch. As a writer of more than a million words and many hundreds of stories, I was mesmerized by the performances, professional actors bringing life and dimension to the written word.

I recall visiting with Ellen and Jack afterward, praising the production which was both intimate and larger than life. Obviously the experience made an impact.

Fast forward to October of this year when Ellen called to say that a Christmas story of mine would be included in the annual Travolta Christmas Show, “Christmas Miracles,” at The Coeur d’Alene Resort. What an honor and treat! I’ve attended these Christmas shows by Ellen, her sister Margaret and daughter Molly each year and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

While the story may be familiar to Main Street readers, it takes on new life at the hands of such a talented actor as Ellen. I was at the opening night performance on Nov. 29 and was entertained, inspired and transfixed by all of the stories and songs.

After a decade, these Christmas shows are a real gift to the community — and although Jack is most certainly missed, his presence is felt. Thank you sincerely, Ellen, for sharing one of the most heartfelt Christmas memories of me and my lifelong Santa.

Christmas Miracles runs Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 22 and tickets are available at www.cdaresort.com

• • •

Holiday things to do highlights: Rest up and put on your comfy shoes, there’s quite an array of places to go this weekend!

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.: “A Christmas Story, the Musical” at Lake City Playhouse. The show runs Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 15. Info: www.lakecityplayhouse.org

Also Thursday the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Winter Blessing at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, 6-8 p.m. It’s free to the public.

Friday at Post Falls City Hall, from 6 to 8 p.m., Winterfest for the family includes the Market on Fourth, lighting of the community Christmas tree and Santa Claus. There’s caroling around the historical organ at the Post Falls Historical Museum. Next door the Post Falls Chamber’s River City Leadership Academy Alumni host a Pajama Drive Party from 4-6 p.m. to benefit the Post Falls Police Department’s OASIS program

Tuxedo Junction Big Band Dance Night, from 7-10 p.m. Friday, will benefit the veterans programs at Foundation Fitness, which is where the dance will be held. The address is 827 W. Prairie Ave.

The Post Falls Chamber’s Post Fallidays Tiny Tree auction and brunch, 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Red Lion Templin’s.

The sixth annual Reindeer Run is Saturday at 8 a.m. Starts and finishes at McEuen Park. Benefits the Kootenai Humane Society. Info: 208-765-7604

The Sounds of Christmas concert with the North Idaho College Music Department. Two free shows: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

December D’Lights in Rathdrum on Saturday, 5 p.m. on Main Street with tree lighting and carriage rides. The annual lighted parade is at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Nashville North: the Jeremy McComb Christmas Extravaganza to benefit the Post Falls Food Bank.

Athol Christmas Market on Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Athol Community Center

Honey Bee Celtic Christmas concert, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Jacklin Arts and Culture Center. Cost is $15 per person.

Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Hauser Lake Volunteer Fire Department hosts the 34th annual Shalena’s Breakfast With Santa at the fire station. Breakfast prepared and served by the firefighters, auxiliary and their families. Photos with Santa and a raffle are planned. Info: www.hauserfire.org

• • •

Happy birthday today to Carrie Ward (50!), Bob Brooke, Tina McWhorter, Bayley Brooks, Dirk Fredekind, Doug Shevalier and Barry Corigilano. Tomorrow Jennifer McGrath, Sharlene Scott, Marna Bateman, Annette Barstow and Anita Banta mark their special day.

On Friday Kathy McDowell, Melanie Chun, Jocelyn Stott, Jennifer Hawkins and Kylie Allen (21!) celebrate. On Saturday Cheryl Fitting, Patricia Marrs, Nathan Smalley, Dean Opsal, CJ Deacon, Catherine Cronin, Rhonda Newton and Randy Duncan take another trip around the sun. On Sunday Tammy Schneider, Kelly Ferguson and Becky McIntire Bufeuillet (50!) are blowing out the candles.

Tammie Peacock, Cecilia Fehling, Brandon Quigley, Cheri Banta, Melissa Williams and Cindy Jarnagin celebrate on Monday. Dick Wandrocke, Shannon Clark, Richard Carlson, Bert Bachelder, Matthew Lemieux, Jack Jordan, Gavin Broadwater and Donna Cushman put on their party hats on Tuesday.

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Post Script: If you want to feel rich, just count all of the gifts you have that money can’t buy.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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