Want to learn to ski or snowboard for free? Make us laugh.

It’s that simple.

To welcome winter and celebrate January as Learn to Ski Month, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram has joined forces with the Ski Maine Association for a contest that last year sent six families to the slopes for free.

We asked them to tell us in 25 words or fewer why skiing or riding is better than anything.

The families who won were clever, funny and some were just weird.

We loved it! So did the readers who voted.

So we’re doing it again and upping the ante on our annual Get a Lift contest.

This year a total of 12 families will ski or ride for free. And a free day of cross-country skiing is a part of the mix.

Ski Maine and the skiing fans here love winter so much, we will help six novice downhill and cross-country ski families try new sports.

We will also hook up six veteran downhill and cross-country ski families with a free day doing what we enjoy most.

All you need to do is tell us why you’d like to try skiing (or why you already love it) in 25 words or fewer. Just go to www.skimainetoday.com and complete this sentence: “My family would rather be skiing than …”

Days of skiing will be offered at Maine ski mountains, Nordic centers and L.L. Bean’s Cross-Country Walk-On Adventures.

Entries can be submitted beginning today and running through Jan. 22.

Voting will begin on Jan. 9 — after the first week of entries — so return to www.skimainetoday.com to vote on other families’ entries.

Prizes will be awarded each week during the three-week contest.

Learn more about the Get a Lift contest at www.skimainetoday.com.

And don’t forget to make us laugh.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]