Mother Who Knows
Date: December 01, 2019 05:14PM
Here are some of our family traditions, living in Salt Lake City:
The Festival of Trees is the closest thing to a fund-raising bazaar. I think it's going on right now. People donate fully decorated trees, which are bought by private households, or by businesses for their office lobbies. All of the proceeds go to the Primary Children's Hospital. The display is gorgeous, and gives you lots of ideas. There's also a gingerbread house display. There's a stage area, where various school choirs and groups perform, throughout the day.
Salt Lake used to have a Dickens Festival at the old State Fairgrounds, but it became overrun by the mass-produced souvenir hawkers and the MLMs. South Jordan and St. George have Dickens Festivals. In past years, people would set up booths, and sell everything from artwork to handmade knits and quilts to soup to roasted chestnuts. We would stock up on bags of fresh California nuts. My daughter had a booth one year, selling her hand-made wooden doll houses, and made some money to buy a car. She was the youngest person, ever, to have a booth there.
The Heber Creeper has train rides, and a special "Polar Express".
Every year, we go on a sleigh ride at The Homestead, in Midway. We try to get the real sled, in the deep snow, but often it's just a wagon on rubber tires--but the the horses are beautiful draft horses. There's an ice castle to see on the ride. The ice castle is so expensive, that we have never gone inside. The kids have been swimming the the hot-pot crater, there, just to say they did.
The kids TBM grandparents force them to go to Temple Square to see the lights, and I went along a few times, and it was awful. The kids were too cold, and weren't allowed to run around to keep warm, and the ordeal lasted way too long. Maybe my PTSD was triggered by the loud MoTab dirges blasting from speakers everywhere, perched on tall poles, out of the reach of people who might want to kick them and shut them off. (yeah, I thought about doing that.) It was always way too crowded, and the people seemed, well, angry! Maybe they had to yell at each other, to be heard above the drone of the music. Maybe they were cold, and had trouble parking and negotiating the crowds. Up close, they smelled like garlic. Seriously, a few times the littlest kids were actually knocked over, and in danger of being trammeled! No Christmas spirit there!
Go, instead, to "Zoo Lights" at Hoggle Zoo. The crowds are more merry. If you don't want to walk, just ride the little train.
Wheeler Farm in Murray has animals the kids can feed. There's something especially appealing about animals at Christmastime. My son got married at Wheeler Farm in the winter, and it was beautiful.
We have been to a few winter weddings at "Heritage Park", and the village there is cute. There's a fun train ride, also.
Gardner Village at 7800 S. 1100 West is appealing. There's a nice antique shop, where I sold some of parents' antiques, and an interesting old-fashioned candy store, and the decorations are very pretty.
One of our favorite traditions is to go skiing on Christmas Eve day. We usually go to Brighton or Alta, because they have a more local feel, and the slopes are not at all crowded on that day. Some skiers wear full-fledged Santa suits. Everyone is jovial, and my grandkids hum Christmas songs, as they ski. We all have hot cocoa in the cozy ski lodge, afterwards. It's definitely worth the extra dollars for watery ski-lodge hot chocolate.
One Christmas Eve, I had hurt my knee, but I rode the lift, anyway, for the scenery. I would recommend this for anyone. In the winter, there's sometimes an inversion, and the city is gray and dark for weeks--but you can drive out of it, up to the mountains, and find sunny skies!
Sorry to get carried away, and to ramble, but I love Christmas!
Oh, I forgot, the beautiful Cathedral of the Madeline has some free organ and choir concerts, that are very uplifting and spiritual.
Even when we were Mormons, we have always gone to the Methodist candlelight service on Christmas Eve. The Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and probably most other Christian churches have Christmas Eve services. We go to the earlier service, and they have one again at midnight.
Old Fashioned tree lighting ceremonies at Draper and Holladay, and other towns on Monday night. We'll be there!