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Celebrating Christmas on the slopes

/ Source: The Associated Press

There's a new Web site for skiers, and it offers a lot more than deals. also has features on all aspects of the ski experience. Readers can check out profiles of resorts like Loon, N.H., or learn nicknames for various types of snow, from fluffy champagne powder to that heavy sticky stuff also known as concrete. is also offering a couple of checklists for skiers who plan to spend the holidays away from home, with tips for decorating your hotel room and gift-giving on the slopes.

One recommendation: Ship a small faux Christmas tree ahead to your destination, unless you have confirmed and reserved a live tree in the town where you'll be staying. says most resort towns run out of trees fast if they have them at all.

You'll also want to ship some cheap ornaments — nothing breakable — or think of creative ways to decorate with simple items, like popcorn and cranberry strands that are easy to make. points out that the local hardware store may be your best resource for inexpensive holiday items like garlands. You can even hang your ornaments on a garland instead of a tree. But bring or ship stockings, along with tape to hang them.

The Web site says some rental companies provide decorating as a special concierge service; some will even set up and decorate a tree, but it will cost you. also suggests shopping before you leave home and either shipping the gifts ahead or taking them with you. Shopping for gifts after you arrive can be expensive in a resort town, and there may not be the kind of selection you have at home. Plus, do you want to spend your ski vacation waiting on lines in stores? Just remember: Wrapped packages will be opened by security at the airport if you're bringing them as carryon, so either pack them unwrapped, or put them in checked bags.

Another option: Send them ahead, but be aware of the risks of theft and loss. Get insurance, and get the name of someone at the lodging who can arrange to have any packages that arrive for you placed safely inside your accommodations.

If you are ordering gifts online to be sent to your destination, be certain that they'll arrive in time, and again, make arrangements for them to be held safely until you arrive.

Finally, says, pack a collapsible bag so that you have a way to lug all your goodies home when your trip is over.