Oliver + S

Holiday Celebrations, Please Share

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    I enjoy reading (and seeing pics) of holiday celebrations from all over. This Thursday the town next to ours will start off the holiday season with the Second Annual Lighted Tractor Parade. Guess it goes without saying we are a proud farming county here in upstate NY! Last year they had 49 entries (all sizes and ages of tractors , all decorated and alight), and over 3,000 spectators. This year, so far, 60 entries and churches and various organizations have promised dollar menu foods to buy to support various charities and there will be warming stations inside the church halls with lots of hot chocolate to drink. Can’t wait!

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    Profile photo of honeymadeithoneymadeit @honeymadeit

    brenda1652 The news said your area was getting 3 feet of snow this week. I hope that doesn’t put a damper on your parade. I would love to see all the Christmas decorations with snow on the ground. I have actually had one white Christmas when we lived in Virginia over 15 years ago. It was like a Norman Rockwell picture. So beautiful but so cold. My southern bone don’t like the cold very much.

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    we will only get some, but the northwestern part of the state (near PA and The Great Lakes, will get the 3 ft, lake effect snows. They’re used to that and they can keep it out there (hopefully, sometimes it drifts, or slams, in). We are a large state, the coast has weather similar to what you had in VA but a bit colder, then upstate (Adirondack hill towns and points north)we get what VT has, then out west they are at the mercy of the Great Lakes and the lake effect. They are much sturdier folks then I am! and yes, I agree, nothing as lovely as snow for the holidays, lights twinkling the through the snow. Nothing will stop this parade except heavy rain; the more snow and cold, the more folks will come out and have fun. Tractors are at their best in snow. Today is mitten and scarf sewing day, thanks to O&S patterns.

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    Profile photo of juliamom2009juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    So….a Southern California Christmas (from a former Bostonian…) – we have a lagoon across the street from us where there are lighted Christmas trees. On the night after Thanksgiving, there is a tree lighting celebration. There are Christmas carolers, and Santa arrives on a fire truck. Kind of nice.

    We then have a Christmas parade in our community, plus a boat parade through the canals. The the neighborhood of the canals are absolutely beautiful houses, and the people go all out with decorations.

    Still, I miss snow!

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    A boat parade sounds awesome! and the down side of parades up here: keeping little ones warm. One year my then 6 yr old daughter was marching (twirling, beginner baton actually, so cute) marched out of her boot and kept on marching, obeying the rule not to stop. I had to grab her out of the parade and reunite her with her marching boot, she was not happy! We use hand and foot warmers in our mittens and boots cuz it’s usually below freezing for these evening parades. The one year she stayed really warm was when she “marched” as an elf and did handsprings the entire parade route!I was a cold momma watching though.

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    Profile photo of Todd GibsonTodd Gibson
    Keymaster
    @todd

    It’s not seasonal, but the best holiday celebration I ever experienced was on the Fourth of July.

    Years ago I used to travel constantly for work. One year I found myself in Lincoln, NE over the Fourth of July–which fell in the middle of that week that year and didn’t really allow me to travel home and then back again just to take one day off.

    Someone I was working with asked what I planned to do with the day, and when I told her I didn’t have any plans she told me I should go to Seward, NE which is only a short way down I-80 from Lincoln. Seward is the small-town Fourth of July capital of the US. From Wikipedia: “[In] 1979, a resolution in the U.S. Congress named Seward ‘America’s Official Fourth of July City—Small Town USA’. Recent attendance has been estimated at about 40,000.” And that’s for a city with a population of less than 7,000 persons.

    So I went, and boy what a day it was! Think of the best small town Fourth of July festival you can imagine and then multiply the scale of that by 10, or more. It was fabulous. Every politician in the state of Nebraska was there for the parade, and they assigned transportation for each dignitary based on status. They started with the governor, US senators, and US representatives who got to ride in the back of fancy convertibles, and they keep going from there. By the time they got to their county representatives, though, they were plain out of fancy cars, so they had to walk. Every fire truck, police vehicle, and semi tractor within a 50 mile radius was all decorated and included in the parade.

    If you’re ever in Nebraska for the Fourth, I can’t recommend spending it in Seward highly enough!

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    Profile photo of cybele727cybele727 @cybele727

    @brenda1652 We are just north of the storm. The city proper and northern suburbs don’t have any snow at all. 6 feet in some places south of the city/south part of the city. Sadly for many people, we are expecting 50s on Sunday, so much will melt, and there will be basements flooding.

    One of our local customs is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It is the biggest bar night of the year. When you are young, you leave work at 5 pm, meet at bars and stumble home after breakfast sometime between 4-5 am. (Our bars don’t close until 4 am.)

    This custom literally kicks off the holiday season. As you age that 5 pm start ends earlier and earlier, and now, I don’t ever go out. But it is the kind of things personal legends are made of. Even non drinkers have been known to partake as the DD and have great memories of the stupid stuff their friends have done. Now with cellphones- it can be shared!! 😉

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    Profile photo of mkhsmkhs @mkhs

    My favorite holiday parade ever was when I lived in Honolulu ages ago, and the Dept of Public Works would put on their Christmas parade. Construction vehicles, street sweepers, garbage trucks, all decked out in decorations and colored lights and blaring holiday music as they drove around downtown. It was unexpected, sweet, and a huge hit with kids!

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    Profile photo of vothgirlvothgirl @vothgirl

    Up in Sacramento, the California State Railway does a Polar Express (like the book & movie) train ride attraction every year. Seats book up really fast – I sat at the computer waiting for 9am on the morning they opened sales to the general public, and was fortunate to get tickets. It’s set up to be just like the train ride in the book, down to everyone wearing their pajamas & drinking hot chocolate. If you take your copy of the book the conductor will sign it. I’m so excited to give Ellie this Christmas memory! 🙂

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    That sounds wonderful Patricia.
    What a lovely thread to read.

    Our favourite Christmas was only a few years back. We had our breakfast feast at home and then headed to town stopping at lots of friends and family on the way. It culminated in a formal meal at my cousins and then a wonderful evening treasure hunt through the parklands. We were dressed in our finery https://www.flickr.com/photos/motherof5/8306097997/in/set-72157631682250923 but bare foot with the adults drinking bubbles and the children finding and eating sweets.

    It was a balmy night with just a breeze and watching all the fairy lights come on as dusk settled was just magical.

    It makes me smile just thinking about it.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    I love “Christmastime in the city.” I’ve loved it in New York, London, Vienna and at home in Philadelphia. Vienna might have been my favorite, though, where every available square in the entire city turned into a Christmas market each with its own specialty. The one at Schonbrunn castle was for handmade toys, the one at Spitalmarkt was indie crafts and the best potato kuchen ever and even the little ramshackle ones were charming. The Advent season lasts all month there and is much less commercial than here in the US.

    In Philly, we don’t lack for holiday excitement. We’re just now deciding what well do this year, as there is so much you simple can’t do every thing every year. The Pennsylvania Ballet does George Balanchine’s Nutcracker, a long time tradition here. Then there’s the light show at the old Wannamaker store now owned by Macys, which I always saw as a child and my parents always saw as children. One thing we never miss is newer to Philly, a German style Christmas market. Hubby and I met studying in Germany, so this always takes us back. This year we’re seeing Kitty’s ballet school Nutcracker, Disney on
    Ice Frozen and a puppet show of the Snow Queen at the University of the Arts. Last year, it was a magical outdoor train display at Morris Arboretum. There’s ice skating, train displays, plays and shows and concerts and ballets and craft fairs and festivals. And there are lights everywhere! Sometimes, we just drive through blocks in South
    Philly looking at the blocks that get all kitted out in electric glory. Not to mention the Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day! (Which we can hear from our house near Broad Street.) I love the hustle and bustle of people out shopping bundled up and happy. Every year, I make a little time to get out by myself and enjoy “people passing” and “silver bells.”

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    Profile photo of vothgirlvothgirl @vothgirl

    Vienna at Christmas sounds amazing! When we lived in Washington (state) we visited the Bavarian village of Leavenworth around Christmas, they had a small Christkringlemarkt (I’m sure I’m not spelling it correctly) and it was so much fun.

    And I’d LOVE to go see the Nutcracker ballet! Perhaps when Ellie and Olivia are older, we’ll live somewhere where they offer a production :-).

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    Profile photo of kahawa101kahawa101 @kahawa101

    What a fun thread! @meleliza, I also love the Christmas in the city atmosphere, although I have yet to experience the cities you mentioned! During the years I lived in the Chicago area, we would often brave the wind chill and go down to Michigan Ave.

    My most spectacular holiday experiences would definitely have to be the few times I spent NYE on Sydney Harbour. I’ve never seen fireworks or festivities on that scale since. My friends and I would afterwards head to the beach to watch the sun rise on the new year.

    Now that I’m older, have little kids, and prefer to not willingly pull all-nighters, I gravitate towards things a little more local and kid-friendly 🙂

    What I’m actually struggling to plan are birthdays! My older daughter is turning 3 on Dec 31, and my baby will be 1 in early January. My wallet is taking a beating this holiday season, and I fear their birthdays will just be holiday afterthoughts!

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    Profile photo of honeymadeithoneymadeit @honeymadeit

    I lived on Florida’s east coast growing up and all the shrimp boats put up lights on their rigging and decked out the whole thing in holiday decor. They sailed them down the river. It was so festive. Downtown was all decorated and as you looked down main street you could see the boats docked. They also decorated the water tower including a big star on the top. These are some of my earliest memories.

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    Profile photo of brenda1652brenda1652 @brenda1652

    meleliza we lived outside Philly for a year and the biggest surprise was The Mummers Parade for New Years. We all know of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, watched on TV if not in person, but the only time I had seen Mummers in the past was when smaller traveling groups came to local parades. I had no idea the extent of the Mummers, an all day parade of momentous proportions, with a Mardi Gras like party on the route (lost track of how many Happy New Year drunken kisses and hugs we received!). I suggest folks google Mummers Parade/images to get an idea, it is phenomenal, all costumes in feathers($$$, new ones each year), Mummers groups from companies, neighborhoods, and families marching and competing . I still do the “Mummers strut” when I hear banjo music! Amazing! Far fewer all feather costumes then in the past, but it got very expensive when snow ans rain would ruin the costumes and limit their parade ops (for charity) for the rest of the year.
    this is a grainy composite, but it gives you the idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW4buRO5mkE

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Profile photo of brenda1652 brenda1652.
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