Although temperatures for Billings' Christmas almost ensure there's not going to be a white Christmas this year, it's already felt plenty like winter.
For most of us in Montana and Wyoming, the weather is a never-ending conversation starter and, at times, an annoyance. For other folks, it's much more than that. The weather is a challenge for bus drivers, mail carriers, truck drivers and especially our paper delivery folks who have to trudge all over at the coldest time of the day to get the newspaper on the doorstep.
In addition to weather, Christmastime is also a time for traditions. And here at The Billings Gazette, we're trying a new holiday tradition that some papers have been practicing for a while. We're going to give our carriers and the people who have to slog through all sorts of weather — from freezing to blazing — a day off.
That's right, we're giving paper carriers and other people who have to produce the paper one day off.
But, we're still going to have a newspaper.
On Christmas Day, there will be no printed Wednesday edition. That means you will not get a paper on your doorstep.
But, put down the phone.
We will have an online electronic edition. And, all those post-Christmas sales will be delivered to your door on Christmas Eve in a larger, expanded holiday edition. You'll get an extra day of comics, you'll get more news, and you'll get all of the ads, including the grocery ads a day earlier.
You have free articles remaining.
We're committed to getting you the news, comics, puzzles, advertising and all the information you would normally get during those two days; we're simply changing up the delivery schedule.
That means on Tuesday (Christmas Eve) there will be two days' worth of puzzles and comics. That'll mean more ads, and it will also mean the popular Christmas feature from longtime Billings journalist Lorna Thackeray, who will take a look back at what the holiday season was like in Billings a century ago.
This year's four-page Opinion section featuring letters of thanks from area nonprofit organizations and helping agencies also will be in the Dec. 24 edition, instead of on Christmas Day as in years past.
On Christmas, we will have a newspaper online, presented in the popular e-edition format. In other words, it will be a PDF that looks like our regular printed edition. Readers can look through the pages on their computers, tablets or even smartphones.
The journalists at The Gazette will be working on Christmas Eve and Christmas, putting together news for our website, which updates regardless of weather and holiday. Normal delivery will resume on Thursday, Dec. 26.
We hope you also take the time to drop a note or tip your carrier who will be working hard to bring The Billings Gazette to your doorstep the other 364 days a year.
We are truly thankful for your continued support of The Billings Gazette and its local journalism. We love this community and wish you happiest of holidays and great success as we look toward 2020.