December 2016 Lifestyle Letter

Joy! With the holidays in full swing, I hope you have a chance—despite the craziness—to take in the joy this season brings. I know I sometimes lose that focus when things get so hectic this time of year. But, I always imagine a peaceful, joyous (and, hopefully a white) holiday that overshadows the stress.

2016 BendFilm Festival

Thousands of filmgoers celebrated independent filmmakers October 7 - 9 throughout Downtown Bend. Festivities included film screenings, parties and lectures. Films battled for awards ranging from Best of the Northwest to Best in Show. PHOTOGRAPHY BRENT BARNETT

Bank of the Cascades Bend Fall Festival

The 2016 Bend Fall Festival took over the streets of Downtown Bend September 30 - October 2. Dozens of bands performed on two stages while more than 250 fine artists lined the streets selling their wares. PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE GIARDINI

December 2016 Around Town

The High Desert Food and Farm Alliance’s (HDFFA) Grow and Give program recently finished up their summer growing season by donating over 9,000 pounds of local produce to NeighborImpact and the 43 food pantries that they service. The bounty—which exceeded their 8,000 pound goal—was the culmination of a year’s worth of Grow and Give events. The Madras, Redmond, NW Crossing…

Confessions of a Non-skier in a Ski Town . . .

I live in a mountain town called Bend. In the winter, snow blankets our streets and turns our Cascade Mountains into majestic photo opportunities. People flock to our town to enjoy the slopes of Mount Bachelor or the wilderness backcountry terrain. At night, conversations center on the day’s escapades or the promise of tomorrow’s adventures.

Gifts That Give Back

Ready to make the holidays less about commercialism and more about spreading love? These local businesses can help! In fact, they are all about helping—in every possible way. Come along as we stroll through conversations with Bend’s social entrepreneurs. Better yet, plan a visit of your own. If you do, chances are you’ll find these hands-on, hard-working, heart-involved business owners/managers…

My Central Oregon Holiday Tradition

Each year, I look forward to chopping down my own Christmas tree. Without fail, I wake up in the morning with a gigantic grin on my face, throw off the covers and pronounce, “Let’s get ready to go Christmas tree cutting!” While my family is small—just my husband and myself—my enthusiasm isn’t. There are no children jumping up and down,…


Looking for holiday gift ideas? Try some of these exceptional, locally-made products for the loved ones in your life.

Holiday Giving With a Twist!

The holidays bring an opportunity to deliver unexpected acts of kindness to family, friends, business associates or even total strangers. They are a time for gatherings—complete with eating, drinking, and of course, gifts! In turn, the celebratory season teaches us that gift giving is more fun than receiving.


Thanks to Stephanie Anderson Stroup, Owner of Twist Cocktail Catering Company, for these festive drink recipes to bring out your yuletide cheer.