Celebrating Christmas In Telluride - And Austin

Editor’s note: When news of my friend Katrine’s win hit my inbox, it struck me that her upbeat story proves Christmas can be more than buy, fry, cry, and wonder why. So if your “ho ho ho” has turned into “ho ho no,” read on…


Red. It is a color of extremes, of passion, seduction, violence, danger, and adventure.

Red is the color of fire and blood, energy and primal life forces. To ancient Greeks, red symbolized super human heroism; for Christians, it is the color of the crucifixion.

And red is one of the two primary (and complementary) colors of Christmas. It is the color of Rudolph’s nose and Santa’s clothes – and  Texas dirt. Also Katrine Formby’s killer dress (which lights up) the night she and her partner won – cue the applause – Dancing with the Austin Stars earlier this month.

Yes, joy to the world.

If you don’t know Katrine, you should. She brings gifts to our community all year ‘round.

Movies for example. The part-time Telluride local and husband Bill own the Nugget Building, home of The Nugget Theatre.

Katrine is the reason TEDxTelluride Live, the local, self-organized event that brings people together to share a TED-like experience, happens in our town every February or March.

Katrine is also the founder of the Hot Shot Photo Contest, which takes place over the Fourth of July weekend and invites visitors, amateur and professional photographers, kids – to take their best shot sand enter to win prize money.

Christmas cheerful.

Christmas cheerful.

In other words, Katrine is a force of nature, only more so, cause she’s a Texan. Unlike Tina Fey, however, Katrine does not feel “blorft” over the holiday season, “blorft”being an adjective Fey made up that means completely overwhelmed by proceedings – as the harried prep for all things Christmas and the associated stress-induced overindulgence of the season.

For Katrine, t’is truly the season to revel and rejoice, a time to lovingly connect with family, relax, recharge and emerge happy, contented, and revitalized.


So if by now the holiday trifecta is making you are seeing red – and not in a good way – watch this video of Katrine, shaking her tail feathers for a worthy cause: Dancing with the Austin Stars raised $1.2 million for the Center for Child Protection. (Her routine appears at about 1 minute, 52 seconds.)


Three cheers for good will, peace on earth – and Katrine for all she gives beyond egg nog, roasted chestnuts and plum pudding.

And, with a heart full of holiday cheer, also check out the holiday light and music show at the Formby’s coffee shop, Mozart, in Austin, a brand new production every year. Yes, it is over the top, maybe one light for every moo cow in the state, but the bedazzlement which, according to Katrine, takes eight people six weeks working full time to put all together is, after all, about honoring the birth of the “true light of the world.”



Amen and happy holidaze.

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