Several friends have recently asked me whether we miss being in Chicago during the Christmas season. The answer comes quickly - yes, we do. We loved navigating snowy sidewalks while shopping for gifts, and meeting up in a restaurant or tavern for a bite to eat and a hot toddy. Each year we would attend either the Chicago Symphony's "Welcome Yule" concert, or the Goodman Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol". The season wasn't complete without buying a new glass ornament from the Christkindlmarket (the German Christmas market that pops up every year in the Loop.) Our tree was placed in the front room to provide a festive view to neighbors walking down Bittersweet Place. During our four years of city living, we created new traditions that helped us greet the season in comfort and joy.
This is our first Christmas season in Prescott. How could we not embrace new traditions in the city recently officially proclaimed as "Arizona's Christmas City"? Prescott takes this designation seriously by hosting a number of festive events open to the public.
We have attended the Christmas Light Parade, where local businesses and organizations create lighted floats that make the rounds downtown. The very next week, you can attend a Christmas Parade in the daytime, where Santa make his official appearance. That night, the Courthouse Square Lighting takes place. This creates a fabulous tableau, including lighting on the Courthouse itself, as well as on many huge trees, and the town Christmas Tree. Tomorrow night, we will attend Acker Night for the first time. Acker Night is a showcase of more than 100 musicians, who perform in numerous downtown venues, including parks, galleries, restaurants, bars, and street corners. Tips proffered are donated to music education programs for local children. I love that idea.
Our own traditions are being modified this year. In addition to some of the city's events, we will attend a Christmas Dinner and Gift Exchange with our friends at Talking Rock. There are also several private parties to which we have been invited. We'll host a few close friends in our home for champagne and hors d'oeuvres on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas tree is up and lighted, and our Christmas shopping is winding down. Soon we can slow our pace, and just enjoy the new traditions we're building.