Holidays with the Optic

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By Tom McDonald

Time to start thinking about the upcoming holidays — to give thanks, wish for peace on earth and goodwill to all, and maybe get a cool gift or two. Then we’ll turn the corner on a new year, with an adios to the old and hola on the new — hoping and praying for a  tomorrow that will be even better than the days before.

Here at the Optic, we’re planning several things. First, I’ll provide an overview, then I’ll tell you how you can participate.

• • •

Here’s what we have planned:

• For a couple of years now, we’ve been doing a “sampling” (a single edition mailed to every Las Vegas residence whether they subscribe or not) about every three months. But to finish off this year we’re planning to do one in November and another in December.

It’s a win all around — for readers and non-readers, who get a thick sample edition chock full of information; for advertisers, who get more eyes on their ads;  and for the post office as well as the Optic — and we think this season is ripe for two samples instead of the usual one.

• Since Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays this time around, and since the post office will be closed on the following Mondays, we’ve decided to instead produce “holiday editions” to land in subscribers’ mailboxes on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (both Saturdays). For Christmas, we’ll produce a feel-good holiday edition, filled with upbeat hometown news and features, and for New Year’s we’ll focus on the year-in-review, including our top stories of 2011 report.

• And of course we’ll have our annual Letters to Santa section, filled with great contributions from area children, asking for everything from a new toy to a new baby brother or sister. Always a fun read.

• • •

Now, here’s how you can join in on it all:

• If you own a business and need to get the word out about your services, let me suggest advertising in one or both of our sample editions. Your ad will be seen by twice as many people, and for our usual rate, so it’s a darn good deal. And the timing is right, since this is the season of giving (and buying).

One of the sample editions is scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, just in time for Black Friday. The other will be Wednesday before Christmas, Dec. 21, when last-minute shoppers will be out in force. We’ll also include a coupons page in the latter sample edition, so you might want to ask our ad sales team about getting something in there, too.

• For our first “holiday edition” on Dec. 24, I invite our readers to submit, in 500 words or less, letters about “the best holiday ever.” Then we’ll run as many of your submission as we can — all of them, if we can — for the Christmas Eve publication. The deadline for these contributions is Thursday, Dec. 15, and the best way to submit them is directly to me, via e-mail (my address is always in the tagline below).
Moreover, don’t forget to get your little ones to write and send us their Santa letters. See the Optic house ad elsewhere in today’s paper for details.

• Now, for the New Year’s Eve holiday edition: For the past couple of years, we’ve solicited reader input to choose the year’s top local stories. We’ll do that again this year, so be looking for our full-page “ballot” (a list of headlines through the year) in future editions. We’ll run the ballot two or three times, and all you have to do is check off the stories that you think were to biggest in 2011, comment on any of them if you’d like, and drop it off at the Optic. Then we’ll tally up the votes and prepare our yearly Top Ten.

All that said, I hope your participation in the Optic’s upcoming editions will make your holidays even better. Mine will be enhanced if I hear from you, so please, feel free to contact me with ideas or questions.

Here’s hoping for a great holiday season for us all.

Tom McDonald is editor and publisher of the Optic. He may be reached at 505-425-6796, ext. 237, or tmcdonald@lasvegasoptic.com.