Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bring on the Holiday Festivities

Silver Bells, Silver Bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas Day

I had that song repeatedly playing in my head this morning.  I must have heard it on the radio and it just stuck.  It's true, however, soon it really will be Christmas Day!  For me, this season carries with it that joyful, cheery feeling and this year I want to keep the Christmas spirit alive by enjoying as many events around town as I can with my family.  Something I am coming to learn and love about my city now that I'm older and have kids of my own is that there are plenty of things to do around town particularly during this holiday season.  Our city is growing and the events we have here can be fun and interesting.  I'm excited to support and participate in the festivities.  

A bonus, of course, is watching the smile light up on my children's faces as they experience the magic of Christmas! 
Orange Park Holiday Light-Up

 Our first Christmas event we went to this year was on Tuesday.  Orange Park had their tree lighting at the Town Hall including singing and a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  They offered hot chocolate and cookies for donations to build a new playground.

Below, I listed some of the holiday happenings you may want to check out, too!  Most of them are local or in the surrounding Jacksonville area:
  • San Marco Christmas Tree Lighting at sundown on Friday, December 6th..  Santa will be there on Saturday, December 7th.  There will be a Live Nativity Scene, singing and neighborhood luminaria on December 14th.  Visit here for more info.
  • Free Christmas Concert by Friday Musicale on December 6th 11 am.  Go here for more info.
  • Free St.Augustine Christmas Parade on Saturday December 7th from 10-12 pm.  Go here for info.
  • Beaches Town Center Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at 3 pm.  Santa arrives by sleigh at 6 pm.  Visit here for info.
  • Christmas in Avondale 6 pm in Avondale business district.
Ongoing Holiday Events:
  • Starting December 13th: Zoolights at Jax Zoo Monday-Thursday 6:30-9:30 pm and from 6:30-10 pm Friday-Sunday.  Visit here for more info.
  • Open until January 12th: Winterfest at Adventure Landing.  Go here for info. Currently, on Groupon, you can buy discounted tickets for $19 for packages for 2-4 people.  
  • St. Augustine Nights of Lights until February 2014.  Go here for info.
  • A December to Remember at St. Augustine Amphitheater until December 22nd.  Visit here for the lineup of free (and a few ticketed) events.  
  • Holiday on the River Dance and Concert Series until December 22nd.  Go here for info.
In addition to ringing in the holidays by attending activities, I look forward to showing my kids what the Christams spirit is all about through charity work.  We usually help out by donating to different charities.  This year, I want to find a place where we can do some volunteer work as a family to help out those less fortunate.  I did it every year while in high school and it brought a smile to face knowing that I had a helping hand in touching someone's life in a small way. 

This season usually fills me with overwhelming craziness but I know the kids are looking forward to the wonder and excitement that is all wrapped up in the coming weeks.  I might as well take time and enjoy it all with them...after all, like the song says, "Soon it will be Christmas Day"...and it will be over in a flash!

Enjoy your weekend, there's plenty to do! ;)