Monday, December 22, 2014

Staying Home for the Holidays? Enjoy Local Sites and Traditions

By Nina Kendall

How do you celebrate the holidays? What special events are you planning to attend? There are famous celebrations of the holidays across the United States from parades to Christmas tree lightings.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and other holiday events are broadcast on television. The White House has been lighting a National Christmas Tree  for 92 years.  Walt Disney World got into the act when they brought the Osborne Lights to Florida in 1995.

While major events draw crowds, you don't have to travel far to enjoy holiday traditions. Locales across the country feature unique celebrations that reflect local history and geography.  Popular traditions include caroling or sing-alongs, parades, festival of trees, and holiday light shows. 

A few Holiday Traditions with a Local Twist:

Festival of Trees
I love Christmas trees. To me a Christmas tree tells a story. Once a year we take out our treasures, memories , and joys and put them on display. Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts Winter Wonderland annually. This exhibition is a collection trees and displays sponsored by cultural groups throughout the metro area. Each tree is decorated to reflect the sponsor. You can enjoy the trees, admire the handiwork, and learn about traditions from around the world practice by your neighbors.

I love to sing along. Secretly, I think everyone does not matter what they think of their voice. The Fox Theater hosted the 9th Annual Sing-A-Long event, Mighty Mo & More this year.  This free concert is a chance to sing carols, donate to Toys for Tots, hear a local chorus, and enjoy a holiday movie. There is little more cheerful than sing Christmas Carols with others.

Light Shows
Atlanta and surrounding environs have a number of light show destinations.  Lake Lanier, Callaway Gardens, Stone Mountain, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens all host their own light shows. At Callaway Gardens, you drive through displays tied to the carols broadcast throughout the show. In the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, you walk amongst nature inspired light displays.  Each experience  imbued with a little Christmas magic.

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Atlanta’s Peach Drop is the local New Year’s Eve Celebration. This event takes near Underground Atlanta and is entering its 26th year.  The Peach Drop is a daylong celebration that draws young and old alike. Venture downtown to enjoy a fairway game, sample festival food, and ring in the New Year with thousands of locals.

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