Happy almost 2018 everyone! One of the downsides to moving away from friends and family is that you wind up developing a new normal for the holidays. I was able to go home to Florida and visit for Thanksgiving but this was the first Christmas that I would not be with the entire family and also the first Christmas without my grandfather. My family always has a tradition of making Christmas cookies, but I would miss this tradition as well. I was able to keep this particular little tradition going by making some favorites of mine for a cookie exchange at our Toastmaster’s club.
My parents came into town for Christmas and we were able to take in some local Columbus holiday traditions, such as Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo. This time of year is obviously very slow at the zoo, so they always put on a spectacular Christmas light show throughout the month of December, sponsored by AEP.
I also got to see Santa!
On Christmas Eve we took in the Nutcracker put on by the MetBallet in the beautiful Ohio Theater in downtown Columbus. This was an absolutely beautiful performance, in a gorgeous, historic theater. I would highly recommend it if you find yourself in Columbus, Ohio for the holidays.
We also checked out the Ohio Chinese Lantern Featival, which is small, but an absolute must! This takes place at the Ohio Expo Center in downtown Columbus throughout the month of December. If you can brave the cold, it’s a beautiful show of Chinese culture.
My aunt, uncle and cousins have recently moved to Asheville, NC so I’ve headed down there to spend New Years’ weekend. Every Christmas they have the National Gingerbread Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn. The hotel is amazing in and of itself, with gorgeous views of the mountains. The Inn dates back to 1913 and has two large, roaring fireplaces in their lobby. The gingerbread displays are spread throughout so you can see much of the hotel as you are viewing the different entries in the competition.
And the grand winner? A Christmas Carol inspired masterpiece.
We will be ringing in the New Year with our Asheville family here tomorrow but of course I miss my family back in Florida. I hope that whatever you‘re doing, wherever you are this holiday, that it is been a happy one full of new and old traditions.
Buen viajes, gnomies!