Winter finally arrives Saturday, Dec. 21. If last weekend is any indication, Big Bear will be a very busy place this winter, especially for the upcoming holiday period.

Big Bear Mountain Resort and the city of Big Bear Lake implemented its traffic management plan on Dec. 14 as skiers and snowboarders flocked to Big Bear. Expect this weekend to be even busier as the holiday vacation period begins around the Southland and beyond. Schools are closed for winter break, families are headed to the mountains for vacation and last minute shoppers are everywhere.

As a tourist town, residents need to take that collective breath now and remember to stay calm. Residents know the winter holiday period is one of the busiest of the year. And with the hint of snow during Christmas week, the lure of the mountains is even stronger.

Big Bear, we need to be ready. Do your grocery shopping now. Fill your gas tank now. And plan ahead. Know that it will take longer to get from point A to point B. Know that there will be people who ignore the No Parking signs and who play in the snow in places they shouldn’t. There will be people who leave their trash and drive like they are invincible.

You can’t change others’ behavior, but you can change yours. If there are people parking where they shouldn’t, playing in the snow on private property or leaving their trash behind, be part of the solution.

You can ask nicely for the person to move a vehicle, make their snowman elsewhere and to take their trash with them. You can also notify authorities if you feel more comfortable doing so.

We urge you to be part of the solution rather than find fault and blame. Look for ways to improve the experience for the visitors and the residents during this very busy time. Share suggestions with Valley leaders, be willing to step up and help.

And when the holiday is over, and there is trash to be picked up, join the cause. Grab a bag and gloves and do your part. It’s a perfect time to develop an idea for reducing the waste.

We get to call this mountaintop paradise home. We welcome visitors because our economy depends on them. Do your part to make the holiday merry and bright for everyone.

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