Holiday Traditions and Flavors

November 23, 2018


If you’ve already gobbled down that Thanksgiving turkey (plus extra helping of pumpkin pie), you’re probably primed for some Christmas cheer.

And, boy, does the Tri-State have it like a candy cane has stripes.

Holidays in our area are full of rich traditions that do indeed make it one of the most wonderful times of the year. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day (and a little beyond), activities and events abound to help you celebrate the season.

Whether you’ve already made these annual events a family tradition or you’re looking for something a little new to add to your holiday experience, you’ll have no trouble finding something for everyone —from the littlest tot waiting for Santa’s sleigh to those who’ve seen holiday seasons come and go many times.

There are church plays and light displays, Santa sightings and tree lightings, holiday parades and choir serenades —all the ingredients for a full and fun holiday season and to help you create those holiday memories to cherish in seasons to come.

To help you max out the merry with a minimumof stress, we’ve compiled the Tri-State’s most extensive early-bird look at holiday happenings near and far—and you’ve got that list right at your fingertips.

From today through the start of 2019, think of us as your merry calendar elves, pointing the way to Christmas bliss.

Light displays top the list of favorite activities for many folks this time of year, and the Tri-State offers enough to satisfy most everybody’s inner Clark Griswold. Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights line Ashland’s Central Park during the annual Winter Wonderland of Lights. That annual display, up now through Jan. 1, 2019, is free to check out and includes special events dotted throughout the season, including Christmas train rides, visits with Santa and more.

Other regional light displays, such as that in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, dazzle plenty of visitors.

If you like your lights on a slightly smaller scale, check out the annual holiday homes tours in St. Albans and Ashland, during which people open their decorated homes to members of the community.

Special concerts this season include holiday shows from the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Natalie Grant & Donny Gokey and Bob Thompson. And of course, there’s the annual favorites like “The Nutcracker,” “A Christmas Story,” and performances from the Renaissance Choral Group and churches presenting their annual cantatas.

Tons of holiday cheer also can be found on area stages, with performances of classics like “A Christmas Carol” and other holiday-themed shows like “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Santa Smells” and the podcast delight “Candlenights.”

And if—for whatever reason— you find you’ve had enough eggnog or one more elf would make you throw a shelf, well, there’s some non-holiday specific fun in the calendar. Nothing eases holiday stress like some good ol’ yoga or meditation sessions, right?

But for you the rest of you heading to bed every night with visions of sugarplums in your heads, you can catch Christmas parades, have breakfast with Santa (more than once!), see live Nativity scenes and more.

After you plan your outings, check out some ideas for creating some new family traditions or building on existing ones.

Whatever gets you in the holiday spirit, build your family’s traditions and make some lasting memories, there’s a good chance you can find it right here in the Tri-State this holiday season.

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