There is something about Christmas in Northern Michigan. As I sat down to write this post, I was inspired by Deb Fellows' recent post on MyNorth: "Finding Peace in December in Northern Michigan" and decided to take a more heartfelt approach – it is Christmas after all.

Snowy days, cold wind, the warmth of the indoors with family and friends.  Aww, I know – heartfelt, I told you!  However, this is what continues to bring my wife and I back "north" for the holidays. As a skier, there is nothing better than getting up early on a winter morning, fresh cup of coffee in my hand and rushing to get first tracks before the crowds show up. Typically bumping into someone I know, the usual "early crowd" who hangs out waiting for the lifts to open, catching up on what's happening, how the snow has been and what their Christmas plans are.

With everyone finding themselves busy up until this week, Christmas time for many skiers and snowboarders is thier first time out for the season. Perhaps it is an opportunity to try out the new gear you got on Christmas or just an opportunity to enjoy the slopes with family and friends – either way, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and hope to bump into many of you as I wait for the lifts to open.

If your plans are still uncertain for this Christmas week, check out some of these Northern Michigan areas and what they have planned:

*Shanty Creek's 4 for $40 starts today at Schuss Mountain
*Ski and Snowboard for free with Santa at Schuss Mountain from 9am-4:30pm
*Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain kick off the NASTAR racing season on the 26th.
*Boyne Mountain is host to the Freestyle Camp from December 27th – 29th.
*Crystal Mountain offers up their "Stay three nights and get the fourth night free" when arriving December 22-25.
*Nub's Nob plays host to the USSA Holiday Training from December 26 – 31.
*Caberfae has $69 ski packages that include 1 night of lodging and 2 lift tickets for December 24-25.