please share your favorite things to do in YOUR area of the world during this season! i'd love to read them...and maybe plan a visit! :)
1. the Christmas village. every year that A and i have been dating we've gone, so it's become a fun little tradition. basically it's a huge craft and foods fair where you can buy gifts for everyone on your list...or just wander around and admire.
2. opryland hotel. after the may flooding, we weren't sure about this year's holiday season...so there was much rejoicing in town when we found out that the hotel was re-opening just in time for the holidays. we always go to see the lights, but there's also a huge ICE display, the rockettes are in town for awhile, and there's tons of other festivities in the opryland hotel complex.
3. local theater. one of the standards is a tuna christmas at tpac, but there are shows going on EVERYWHERE that are both funny and heartwarming. :)
4. downtown Christmas trees. nashville being the state capitol and all, we have both the state tree and the city tree downtown. there's been a lot of push to plant a tree in the future (at least for the metro tree), and i kind of hope that goes through. it'd be nice, not only from a eco-friendly aspect, but also to know that you're looking at the same tree year after year :)
5. Christmas lights. every year there's a county-wide contest, and every year the winners are announced in early to mid december. the announcement includes addresses, so it's fun to see the winners year after year. it DOES sometimes seem like we're going to the same houses over and over year after year, but it's totally worth it :)
6. parades, naturally! of course there are your normal street parades, but there's also a more creative approach. not in nashville proper, but a bit north...when i lived on that lake i spoke about, i could watch the hendersonville lighted boat parade. boats decked out for christmas. it was way cool :) one of these years i'll have to get up there again for it -- definitely a lot of fun!
7. not to be outdone, south of nashville in little franklin...every year holds a street festival called "a dickens of a christmas". unfortunately, we're going to be out of town this year...but i hope to get there next year!
8. tons of amazing church concerts and the like. my favorite every year is the Christ Church Choir one. they're amazing!
9. the live nativity -- actually the live walk through bethlehem -- at a church on hillsboro rd. now, i've never actually MEANT to go to this, but just about every year i get stuck in traffic because of it. and i smile...
10. and some places just pull out all the stops. cheekwood, for example, has a TON of stuff going on all season long. cookie decorating, wreath making, and something called martinis and mistletoe that i think i need to investigate.
one that isn't really a tradition but i love is snow pictures...if we're lucky enough to get a snowfall. i've lived in nashville for 11 winters now, and it's only happened a couple of times that i get GOOD snow to take pictures in. so, because it's such a rare thing it makes it all the more special.
what about you? what fun things do you and your family like to do to enjoy and savor the season?