The Traditions of Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas has become an iconic poem shared by many during the holiday season. It embodies the excitement and joy the season naturally emits and creates a picture of the traditional Christmas with the creative vision of a child.

Since the poem’s 1823 publishing, you could say some of the Christmas traditions have evolved a bit. Stockings might still be hung, but on a banister or the edge of each bed. One present opened on Christmas Eve, building the excitement for the morning to come. The night spent bundled in blankets in the back seat of the family car as you travel the distance, but no worry because Santa Claus knows to find children at Grandma’s house. Christmas traditions are as unique as the family that created them.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

One big factor of a family Christmas tradition is often the food. Does your family sit down around a roasted ham, or carving of the roast beef? Great Plains Communications and Food Network have provided three videos of some delicious main courses that could possibly find their way into your family tradition this year. Enjoy, and share in the comments below what yummy treats your family cherishes each Christmas.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Spreading Christmas Cheer at Great Plains Communications

As 40 children shared in a failed attempt of holding in their enthusiasm, the sound of jingle bells rang through the atrium of the Great Plains Communications Blair office. The man of the hour had arrived, with his iconic red suit and joyful allure. The elevator opened and Santa Claus welcomed the crowd with a booming “Ho, Ho, Ho”.

Great Plains Communications, has a few ways of celebrating the holiday season. As tradition, on December 12, Santa visited the office with a gift for each child in attendance. Cookies and punch were provided and employees were able to share a cheerful time with family and coworkers.

When the hail storm of June 3, 2014 hit multiple communities around Nebraska causing widespread devastation, Great Plains Communications recognized the overwhelming need in our community. As a way to extend a helping hand and needed cheer this season, the company worked together to raise money for the local Food Pantry. Great Plains Communications is proud to announce that we have raised $5,630. We thank all of our employees for their generous donations.

Along with the Food Pantry, employees worked together in collecting toys for the Blair Optimist Club. The overflowing sleigh of gifts in the Great Plains Communications atrium says it all. Again, we thank our employees for their cooperation and donations.

The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. We felt there is no harm in adding a little competition to the celebration. This year each of the departments in the Blair office were provided a Christmas tree to decorate. The prize of a pizza party and light-hearted bragging rights were at stake. Ideas from virtual decorating using “The Cloud”, to telephones and mock fireplaces came to life as the departments gave it their all. You can check out all the decorations, Santa pictures and final judging on Facebook later this week.

Great Plains Communications hopes you have a safe and wonderful holiday season filled with love and joy!


FREE Downloads & Uploads with Exede Late Night Free Zone


The holidays are in full swing, cookies being baked, presents being wrapped, and bows finding their way into every nook and cranny around the house. Though, as your college student arrives home for break, family time jumps to the top of your list. Sitting down for a classic holiday movie with the entire family makes all the stress and chaos worthwhile. Until you have to wait for the movie to download. Or your software needs to update. 15 minutes go by and the charming glow of the Christmas tree lights aren’t enough to calm the frustration rising in the room.

What if we told you that Exede offers unlimited satellite Internet with free uploads and free downloads for five hours a day? It’s true. It is called the Late Night Free Zone. Best part is, if you are an Exede customer with Great Plains Communications, you already have it! From midnight to 5 a.m., you have 100% unlimited data usage and both download and upload usage are unmetered.

What to do with the Late Night Free Zone? 

  • Schedule downloads of movies, music, games and more.
  • Upload all 73 photos from the family holiday photo shoot. 
  • Post the video of the kids building gingerbread houses…and then destroying them. 
  • Watch the Santa tracker, while streaming your favorite Christmas playlist on Spotify or Pandora.

Eliminate the annoying download waiting game from your holiday season this year. Take a couple minutes and schedule the FREE download between midnight and 5 a.m. Then when the time comes, all your family will have to worry about is deciding between cocoa and cider.

If you are not currently an Exede customer, you have the chance to receive One Month FREE and $100 Off Installation when you sign-up now. This offer ends at the end of the month, so be sure not to miss out. Visit our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 for more information on how you can get set-up with Exede and the Late Night Free Zone.


Fall Sports Contest Winners

GPC-TV 2014 Fall Sports Contest – Grand Prize Winners, Arnold and Callaway High Schools (South Loup)

Great Plains Communications would like to congratulate our 2014 Fall Sports Contest winners, Arnold and Callaway High Schools (South Loup) and Ponca High School.

Schools participating in the contest sent in video replays from fall sporting events such as football and volleyball games, which were then aired on Channel 2. Local sporting events are a favorite among our Cable customers, and we take pride in being able to bring an abundance of local sports coverage to their TV’s.

With 30 games aired during the fall sports season, South Loup achieved First Place and earned their athletic department $650. Ponca took home the prize for Best Quality Footage, winning them a brand new HD video camera and $150.

GPC-TV 2014 Fall Sports Contest – Best Quality Footage Winners, Ponca High School

We want to congratulate all of our 2014 Fall Sports Contest participants on a great season. Not only do our Cable customers enjoy watching the local coverage, but we as a company enjoy getting to know the students and staff in our local schools.

Stay connected with sports from high schools around your area throughout the entire school year on GPC-TV. The local channel is a benefit provided only to Great Plains Communications Cable customers, and can’t be accessed with any other Cable provider. If you aren’t currently taking advantage of our Cable services, you can call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to get you signed up.


Tribal Lifeline Awareness

Once again, Great Plains Communications is helping raise awareness about one of the Universal Service Funds’ varied programs to help provide affordable telecommunications services to Americans. This time it is the Tribal Lifeline Program, which provides discounted telephone services for those living on Tribal lands.

Those who live on Tribal lands are eligible to receive many additional benefits through the FCC’s Lifeline Program. According to the FCC website, eligible telephone subscribers on Tribal lands may receive basic local phone service for as little as $1 a month. Link-Up provides eligible consumers with a one-time initial hook-up discount of up to %50.

Eligible subscribers include those who have participated in:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • National School Lunch Programs Free Lunch Program
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Head Start (those meeting income-qualifying standard)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Federal Housing Assistance
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

We know how important having a landline can be for the safety and convenience of your family, particularly in rural Nebraska. Further eligibility information about the Tribal Lifeline Program can be found at If you have any questions, we encourage you to call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 for more information.


What’s on Your Wish List?

Today’s traditions have come a long way from a family trip to the tree farm, footsteps engulfed by feet of snow, and the adoption of the perfect pine. We now can pick a tree online with the expectation of the plastic perfection holding each ornament with ease. E-cards are now sent out, holiday television specials are recorded to be watched at our convenience, and technology fills our wish lists. Great Plains Communications wants to help take away the stress of today’s updated traditions, so that you can focus on the things that matter most this season.

With our “What’s on Your Wish List?” promotion, you have the chance to choose which deal best suits your family. When you sign-up for any new service, you will automatically receive FREE Installation and the choice of one of our great additional promotions. If you take advantage of our cable services, you could receive ½ price HD-DVR for three months. Or if you want to sweeten up your Internet Service, you could choose to receive a FREE Wireless Router Rental for three months. It gets even better. Choose to sign-up for two new services and receive FREE Installation and both additional promotions.

Don’t let the expectations of the holidays stress you out. Grab a mug of hot cocoa and let us help you check off some great deals this season. Call 855-853-1483 or visit to sign-up today!


It Came Upon a Midnight Scam: Make sure you are Protected this Cyber Monday

People most often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. They picture themselves snuggled up on the couch in their living room with their laptop and a hot mug of coffee, enjoying the sales in the safety of their own homes. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is taken the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide you with reminders and tips on what to watch for, to assure your safety.

Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day of the year, which makes it the single largest opportunity for criminals to steal money, personal information, and credit card numbers. According to the FBI’s 2013 Internet Crime Report, the average loss for victims in Nebraska was $2,786. The FBI has studied the problem and issued some helpful tips:

  • Only shop reputable sites.
  • Make sure payment pages are encrypted – start with HTTPS.
  • When searching a site, double check the URL of the top-listed sites before clicking. (Criminals have been known to pay for high placements in search results)

It is also advised to take caution when opening certain emails. Make sure not to click on any links or open attachments in any that are unsolicited. It may also be smart to log on to the Websites directly rather than clicking on the links provided in the email.

Cyber Monday is a convenient way to take advantage of great deals and a head start on holiday shopping without the unpleasant winter weather. The biggest tip is just to shop smart and shop cautious. If something seems too good to be true, look into it before entering any personal information. For specific scams to look out for this year, check out the FBI’s website. And if you have any questions or problems with your Internet connection, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483. Let us know in the comments below what big deal you are looking to grab this Cyber Monday, and happy shopping!


Make it a Family Affair this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday enriched with unique traditions. Does your family travel each year, packing up the car and heading to grandma’s house? Do you always make a special side dish that turkey wouldn’t taste the same without? No matter if you remember the day through memories of overeating and a mid-afternoon nap or tossing a football through the biting November wind, Thanksgiving is a time to revel in the things we have and the people we have to enjoy them with.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Great Plains Communications wants to share a couple crafts to get the kids involved this year. While most of the focus is on food preparation, it is easy to forget that the tiny helpers have plenty to be thankful for as well. So, take a moment between mixing and pouring to get their little hands busy.

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough

  • 2 cups water
  • 10 drops red food coloring
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Fill a sauce pan with water, food coloring and oil. Heat contents of saucepan over medium heat.

In a bowl mix salt, flour, cream of tartar and spices.

Add contents of bowl to saucepan and stir continually until the dough pulls away from the edges. The play dough and pan will be warm and will continue to set up after the burner is off.

Leaf Placemat

  • Leaves of their choice
  • Clear Contact paper

Place the leaves in any pattern on one sheet of contact paper.

After all the leaves have been placed, gently set a second piece of contact paper (sticky side down) over the leaves.

The Pumpkin Spice Play Dough will keep them busy as you prep. The Leaf Placemats will give them something to bring to the table (literally). They will be able to show all the relatives their beautiful artwork as everyone sits down to eat.

As a fourth generation company, Great Plains Communications knows the importance of family and tradition. We are thankful for our founders and employees. But most of all, we would like to share our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty. We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Let us know what you are thankful for this year, in the comments below.


Mysteries of “The Cloud”?

What is “the cloud”? Most people think of it as a technological mystery, an untouchable place, a visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere. No matter how you visualize “the cloud” in your mind, Great Plains Communications wants to share some information on not only what it is, but what you can do with “the cloud”.

For starters, your files are NOT literally being sent up into the sky. “The cloud” refers to a process called cloud computing, which is simply the method in which files are transported from a computer, smartphone or tablet to physical servers, via the Internet. An example would be your e-mail. Web-based e-mail (Gmail & Yahoo) uses a cloud computing program, making it possible for you to check it from any location.

Other than e-mail, cloud computing is a good way to backup your music, photos, and documents. Most companies will even have a backup to your backup, by storing files on more than one server in more than one center. Say goodbye to the hassle of figuring out different ways to get pictures off your phone, cloud computing also makes sharing files as easy as creating a folder and choosing which device you want it to go to or who you want to see it.

“The cloud” isn’t such a scary and mystical thing, but rather a tool to make sorting, storing, and understanding today’s technology a little easier. A couple recommendations would be, a user-friendly site that is what it says, a drag and drop server there to help save and transport your files from different devices. There is also Google Drive, which is a good option if you already have a Gmail account. The Internet provides you with a multitude of options right to your devices, which gives you the opportunity to pick the one that best fits your needs. If you have questions on your Wi-Fi or Internet service, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and one of our representatives would be happy to help you.


The Importance of Landline Telephones this Winter

Gloves: check. Scarf: check. Hat: check. Landline telephone: check? Most people don’t think about a landline when thinking about weather safety precautions. You’re probably thinking, “Well I have my cell phone, why would I need a landline?” We don’t blame you. Cell phones are great on the go and bring some of the best technology right to your fingertips. What most people don’t know is that cellular towers are not required to provide backup power. So, when we get hit with a Midwestern blizzard your cellphone may not work through a power outage. Great Plains Communications wants to shed some light on just a few of the advantages to having a landline telephone.

  • Security in an emergency, with consistent reliable 911 connections and the guarantee it will work through a power outage
  • No need for batteries or charging when using a corded phone
  • Elimination of potentially faulty connection and dropped calls
  • Top-quality sound and clarity

Remember, if the power isn’t working in your home, most likely neither are your cordless phones. Keep your family safe this season and make sure you have a corded phone plugged into a wall-mounted phone jack. That way you can be sure to have a clear and reliable connection, no matter what Old Man Winter throws our way.

For more information on how you can get a landline telephone, visit our website or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and one of our representatives would love to get you set up today.

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