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Decorations are up — so what’s your excuse?

December 3, 2011
Shaunna Dunder Hershberger - Lifestyles Editor ( , Times Leader

Hello, Ohio Valley. As I've been driving around the area, to and from work, to and from mom and dad's, to and from shopping plazas, I've noticed Christmas lights. Homes have hung beautiful, vibrant displays. Sparkling trees glisten inside windows. Inflatable lawn ornaments wave in the light breeze. My eyes don't deceive me. You've put up your Christmas decorations, but for some reason you haven't sent your pictures in to The Times Leader's Holiday Sparkle contest.

Why haven't you sent a photo?

It certainly isn't because of bad weather. In fact, we've had a month of unseasonably warm days, and a lot more sunshine than rain. And I've seen your decorations-you can't hide. There's been ample time to decorate, rearrange, perfect and snap a photo.

I'm also sure you're not lacking motivation. We're giving away $15 gift cards to Perkins and the Imperial Teachers store. That's right-we're giving you a gift card just for sending us a photo of your Christmas decorations! Who wouldn't want to take advantage of a yummy meal or stock up on supplies for your school kids or for your home office? It's not too often these days when you get something for nothing, but this really does come close! A $15 gift card in exchange for a picture? That's a sweet deal!

Some of you (I won't mention names) have already sent us beautiful pictures of your bright homes and sparkling trees. You folks didn't waste any time! However, we still need photos, and lots of 'em! But here's the kicker-those of you waiting around to send photos in are RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Unfortunately, all contests must come to an end, and we must have your photos in no later than Thursday, Dec. 8.

In case you've forgotten the details, this is our second annual Holiday Sparkle contest that showcases all the lovely light displays in the area. We are looking for photos of decorated Christmas trees and homes. We're only going to publish the first 16 photos we get in each category in Holiday Sparkle, a special section of the Times Leader that comes out on Sunday, Dec. 18. The categories are filling up, but we really need your photos.

Now that I've successfully (hopefully) guilted you into sending a photo, here's how you do it. You can email your photo to or mail or drop off your photo in person to Holiday Sparkle, c/o The Times Leader, 200 South 4th Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio, 43935. Please include your name, address and a phone number where we can reach you during the day should we have any questions.

It's not too late-yet-to send in your photos, but time is running out! Snap those photos and hop inside Santa's sleigh to deliver it to us pronto, before Dec. 8, or you just might find a big lump of coal in your front yard on Christmas morning.



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