Saturday, December 15, 2018

My Favorite Things - Top 10 Places to Spend Christmas

A list of combined favorites this time, with a list of my favorite places to spend Christmas.  Over the past several years, we've becoming increasing fond of giving experiences instead of gifts.  We have all that we need and most of what we want.  And while the joy of giving and receiving gifts is still there, we really appreciate most being together over the holidays and seeking out new experiences.  Accordingly, this list includes several holiday locations that we have visited and a few that are on the top of our lists.

  • Home with Family - They say there's no place like home for the holidays and they are quite true.  There is still something magical about being in Buna or in Winnsboro over the holidays.  I am very thankful we are able to travel and to spend as much time in these places as we do.
  • New York City - New York is a magical city at Christmas.  The tree in Rockefeller Center.  Ice skating beneath it.  The potential for snow in Central Park. Macy's and the official Santa Claus.  Window decorations on Fifth Avenue.  And the Rockettes.  Plus all that makes New York such a vibrant city.  This was a favorite Christmas in the past and we are looking forward to doing it again.
  • Rocky Mountains - There is something magical about snow at Christmas.  The mountains and skiing, sledding, and sleighing.  A warm fireplace in the cabin.  While our first experience here was not as enjoyable as it could have been thanks to extreme jet lag and altitude sickness, we hope to try this again in the future.
  • Smoky Mountains - This has a lot of the same benefits of the Rocky Mountains, but has a more down home, country feel.  With everything we saw at Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, this would make a wonderful place to spend Christmas.
  • Disneyland - Few places do holiday celebrations like Disney.  The Christmas Parade and Fireworks.  The ride overlays.  Decorations everywhere.  The Candlelight Processional.  The abundance of holiday foods.  We've done both coasts during the holiday season and have enjoyed them both.  It's crowded, but it can be an amazing experience even if just to focus on the specific holiday offerings.
  • New Orleans - The food and the music really make this special.  Reveillon dinners and caroling in Jackson Square. Christmas Fest in the convention center. Bonfires on the levees for Papa Noel.  The Celebration in the Oaks.  Again a place we are ready to try again.
  • San Antonio - San Antonio is probably the most beautiful place in Texas at Christmas.  The lights on the Riverwalk and the Holiday River Parade.  The Holiday Night Market.  The Alamo Lights.  The Fiesta de Navidad with La Pastorela Folklorica and La Gran Posada.  Well worth experiencing.
  • Bed and Breakfast in Connecticut/Vermont - This is an experience we want simply to recreate a holiday movie.  To capture that spirit of Christmas in Connecticut, Holiday Inn, or White Christmas.  Head to the northeast and hope for snow.
  • Hawaii - We're hoping for a Mele Kalikimaka one year.  A tropical holiday for a change of scenery.  Beautiful poinsettias in bloom.  Christmas Luau.  Something different and something very fun.
  • Hershey, PA - What could be better than Christmas in a town that smells like chocolate?  Christmas activities in the theme park, decorations around the town.  A light trail.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  Sounds sweet.
What are your favorite places to spend Christmas?  What would you add to this list?

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