It has been a tough year. I think I've started a dozen of my stories this year with that sentence, hoping one day it will change. I think it is that type of hope that makes Idaho so great and good at spreading Christmas cheer, because really, that cheer is another word for hope. We can be happy this holiday season despite the pandemic around us. We can be hopeful that things will be better in the new year, and that hope has put us at the top of a recent list of states ranked by their Christmas cheer.

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The tech nerds at Century Link crunched some data to find out which states have the most Christmas cheer and Idaho is top tier along with Utah and Wisconsin. Some of the metrics that helped boost our Christmas cheer level includes the amount of charitable giving of Idahoans and the number of Christmas tree farms in the state. Online data helped us by proving we search for Christmas related items a lot. Christmas music (which you can listen to here anytime you want), Christmas related tweets, movies, and gingerbread house searches were also in abundance in Idaho this year.

We also know that just here in the Magic Valley we have generated enough Christmas cheer to power Santa's sleigh for the year. Between the toy drives like we did for Christmas in the Nighttime Sky, food drives like 60 Hours to Fight Hunger, and the number of houses decorated with lights we are really showing the rest of the country how to do Christmas right.

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