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South Sioux City house

My favorite house in South Sioux City. It wraps around the block there's so much lighting.

1. Christmas film. George Lindblade produced a film looking back at past winters that was played during several Sioux City Symphony Orchestra holiday concert. It was great to see the downtown streets, the huge snowfalls (which we don’t want this year) and folks we recognize having fun. Hopefully, the Symphony will bring it back another year.

2018 Holiday Tour of Homes

Designer Marie Hofmeyer of Holland House in Orange City, Iowa, hangs Christmas stockings while decorating the Shane and Shawnie Keizer home in Dakota Dunes.

2. My favorite house in South Sioux City. If you look for the lights, you can’t miss it. Coming off the bridge from Sioux City, take a left at the first light and keep going until you see it. You’ll drive around several times just to drink it all in.

3. Big Brothers Big Sisters Tour of Homes. You not only get good ideas for your own decorating ventures, you also feel the spirit of the season. It’s a great jumpstart.

2018 Little Yellow Dog Auction

Erin Ludwig of Merrill holds Polar during the Little Yellow Dog Auction at Ho-Chunk Centre in Sioux City on Saturday.

4. The Little Yellow Dog Auction. People with big hearts give generously to those who may need a lift at the holiday season. When you watch the bidding (and the rain of checks), you realize there is goodness in the world and it calls Siouxland home. Go some year and you’ll find it difficult to stop the tears. This is old school fundraising that meets new school needs.

sweetwater cafe's kim davis

Manager Kim Davis puts the finishing touches on SweetWater Cafe's Grinch-inspired Christmas tree. The contribution from the Ho-Chunk Centre-based coffee shop is just one of the 74 entries in the 26th annual Festival of Trees.  

5. The Festival of Trees. Anyone who puts this much effort into decorating a tree that they don’t even get to keep has to be on the side of angels. Looking at the creativity, you long for the day when you, too, could join them.

Santa's House

Mandi Clifton, 3, and her sister Madison Clifton, 5, of Plum City, Florida, talk to Santa Claus on Saturday at Santa's House in Sioux City. Santa's House is an annual fundraiser sponsored by UnityPoint Health -- St. Luke's Partners.

6. Santa’s House. We used to have the Santa Claus in the window of Younkers downtown. The line snaked down the street (like something out of “A Christmas Story”) and served as a holiday landmark. Now, Santa has moved indoors and there’s plenty to do while you wait. Kids still get nervous, but, baby, it’s cold outside.

7. The downtown planters. Downtown Partners gives them a festive flair that lasts throughout winter. They class up the joint.

What’s your favorite Siouxland evergreen? Send me a note at

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