Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Weekend Weather

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Grab a mug of hot cocoa and a box of tissues, kids, because the Weather Column has some good news and some bad news for you.

Seeing as how we are a generally upbeat column, let's start with the good news: We have just stuck our head out the window and we are thrilled to report it is gloriously sunny, incredibly warm, a sultry wind is blowing through the desert grasses and, somewhere in the distance, we can hear the exotic strains of a mariachi band.

Is that wonderful, or what? OK, the bad news -- well, bad for you guys at least -- is the fact that we are currently experiencing this unseasonably warm weather in Las Cruces, N.M., where we are hanging out with old friends.

But take heart, Winnipeg, because we have just eyeballed the Environment Canada website and it seems, other than the sunny skies and warm temperatures and Happy Hour margaritas, your forecast is almost identical to the weather in New Mexico.

Not that I wish to rub salt in your weather wounds or anything, but while I am wearing flip-flops and giving my putter a workout on a local golf course, you guys back home will be looking at a steady stream of greyish clouds.

Today and Sunday will see clouds followed by more clouds, with a daily high of 0 C each day, which is good because the normal high at the beginning of December is a bracing -6 C.

Fortunately, things will change slightly on Monday when, along with clouds and a high of 0 C, you can look forward to a little rain and, fingers crossed, another taste of snow. Look, I don't enjoy giving you glum weather news like this, but it's better coming from me than a stranger, right? Hello!

If you can hang on until Tuesday, you should get a slight break from the grim overcast skies, along with a whopping big dip in the temperature as the mercury slides down to (sit down before reading on) -11 C.

I personally will not be feeling too festive in New Mexico's sweltering climate, so maybe you guys could spend the weekend getting into the holiday spirit on my behalf. Thanks.

For starters, I think you should head down to Manitoba Hydro Gallery, 360 Portage Ave., today and Sunday to take in the annual Festival of Trees and Lights from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are enough trees and wreaths and gingerbread houses to make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Admission is free and donations are gratefully accepted.

After that, pop the kids in the car and dash through the snow to Canad Inns Winter Wonderland at Red River Exhibition Park, where you can drive through 29 themed areas featuring more than a million sparkly lights along a 2.5-kilometre route of holiday joy. Tickets are $15 at the gate and $10 in advance at any Canad Inns location.

On Sunday, you can hear some joyful noises at Pantages Playhouse Theatre by checking out the Winnipeg Youth Orchestra's annual holiday concert. Tickets are $5 at the door. Or, if you want to be a real Grinch, grab a flight and join me in New Mexico. We can sip margaritas and you can help me get in the spirit of the season by pulling a few of these (bad word) cactus thorns out of my backside. Ho Ho ... ouch!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2012 A2

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