Are you getting in the Christmas spirit? What signals the beginning of the holiday season for you? Last week I wrote about new Thanksgiving traditions for us and now I want to share about new Christmas traditions. Last year was our first Christmas in Utah and I knew I’d be sad enough not being with family so I made sure to plan fun events to create new memories.
The Monday after Thanksgiving our town has their Christmas tree lighting. This seemed like the perfect event to get into the Christmas spirit. Santa arrives on a firetruck to pass out candy canes and talks with kids about their Christmas list.
I believe it was about an hour before the celebration and it began to snow… not just snow, but blanket the town with enormous wet snowflakes! This seemed to happen almost in an instant. It was surreal kicking off the Christmas season being covered in snow! Not many people turned out for the event because of the snow, but we loved every moment!
After moving to Utah we met a fantastic local family who basically adopted us! They invited us to their annual family Christmas outing to see the lights at Temple Square and we couldn’t pass it up. We had heard how beautiful Temple Square is at any time of the year and had not had the chance to explore the grounds yet. Visiting at Christmas was sure to blow us away. The temple is undoubtedly amazing and then to get a closer look at the design and architecture is almost overwhelming. Finally add on the Christmas lights, displays, etc. W-O-W!
I had seen advertisements for another local event featuring Christmas lights, Luminaria. Winter 2016 was the first year for the event and sounded like something I would love. Their website describes it perfectly, “…enchanting mile walk will transport you into a magical holiday world…” This event is located at Thanksgiving Point in the Ashton Gardens and it truly was magical! I really enjoyed the variety in the different displays.
In an unrelated conversation recently, I was telling someone that I love events not only for the event itself, but for the thought and organization that goes into it. I find it a learning experience and really appreciate the “behind-the-scenes” work. There is an immense amount of planning, creativity and hard work that goes into Luminaria!
I’m not sure that these outdoor adventures really fall into the Christmas spirit topic, but snow definitely makes me think of winter! If you know us, you know we love snow!
We actually skied at Snowbird on Christmas Day 2016! It was snowing, not busy and ended up being one of the best days of the season. Randy met us to ski and then came back to our house for dinner. I had put a roast in the crock pot so we had a delicious hot meal after the busy day. We also were again able to video chat with family for the holiday. It wasn’t our typical Christmas day, but it would be the start of our new tradition!
We knew that the slopes would be busy right after Christmas so we planned to snowshoe and winter hike. Again, this ended up being just perfect! We had never snowshoed before so we were really looking forward to doing something new. We hiked near Stewart Falls from the Sundance Nordic Center. What a beautiful day!
Early Christmas Indiana Visit
We were thrilled with an invite to the Confluence Christmas party. This was the second Christmas Keith had worked for them and we weren’t able to attend the party the prior year. We never expected they would fly us in for the event. This truly was an early Christmas present! The party was mid-December, Thursday night in Pittsburg so we flew in Wednesday, attended the party Thursday and then drove to Indiana for an early Christmas with our families!
While in Indiana we were able to see most of our family and a few friends. It was awesome to spend this time the week before Christmas with the ones we love the most! A very Merry Christmas for us.
Christmas 2017 Plans
We are basically trying to recreate last year since it was so great!
– – local Utah events; tree lighting, light displays, etc.
– – Confluence party and home to Indiana!!
– – outdoor activities; ski, snowshoe, etc.
– – find new events to attend; the Midway Ice Castles are at the top of my wish list since we missed it last year