This year, when Thanksgiving rolls around (and you've given in to the inevitable Turkey Day coma), trade in the annual tradition of an after-dinner snooze session and watching ancient home movies with the in-laws for something a little more magical - the Chesaning Christmas Candlewalk (Friday, November 27- Saturday, November 28).
We'll make the decision easy for you. And it all starts here with our Top 5 Reasons To Forgo This Year's Post-meal Blackout In Favor Of Something A Little More Festive:
#1: Easing Into The Next Holiday
We know. The thought of getting up at 3 am to stake out your spot in line for all the Black Friday deals sounded like a fabulous idea. Until you were there. In line. With 500 of your closest strangers. And, while we agree that Black Friday shopping can be a fun way to round out Thanksgiving and look forward to Christmas, we also think there's something to be said for doing it a little more subtly. Like slowly getting into the Christmas spirit and stretching that Thanksgiving time-off with family just a little further.
Enter Chesaning's Christmas Candlewalk. It's a celebration of all things Christmas, but held each year on Thanksgiving weekend (this year, Friday, November 27 & Saturday, November 28). Win #1? Knocking out not one, but two holiday celebrations with the in-laws in a single trip. Win #2? Finding the cure to that day-after-Thanksgiving "We-ate-everything-and-now-what?" moment.
#2: Rediscovering The Joy Of The Simple Things
When Christmas is fast approaching, you can pretty much guarantee you're about to be bombarded. By every advertisement. For everything your child ever wanted. Ever.
So, before the madness begins, take some time to get back to the simpler things in life. Like watching your kids point excitedly at handmade gingerbread houses (not iPads) in the shop windows as they pass. Sipping on a cup of hot cocoa as you snuggle up on a free horse-drawn carriage ride up and down the boulevard of a cozy Christmas village, listing to live, festive christmas music as you jingle all the way.
Picture yourself making those memories, and tuck them away in a special place. You're going to need them when you've seen the commercial for the newest Doc McStuffins toy for the 500th time in a week.
#3: Seeing A Village Come To Life With Lights
The Chesaning Christmas Candlewalk boasts an elaborate (yet, somehow, still quaint) Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony each year - complete with community sing-a-long caroling of "O, Christmas Tree." We know it sounds too idyllic and too "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" to be true, but it is! And it's every bit as wonderful and heartwarming as it sounds.
But that's not the only holiday light magic you'll find when you make your way to the Chesaning Candlewalk. In fact, you'll find luminaries (hand-lit and placed by dozens of volunteers) lining the entire boulevard, along with much more light magic throughout the village - everything from classic cars to vintage firetrucks, all lined in dazzling strings of lights.
#4: Snagging The Perfect Christmas Tree Early
Who said you had to wait until the week before Christmas to buy a tree, when only the Charlie Brown trees of the world are left? Get it early, and get a good one - all without the tree farm or department store rush, and all while you enjoy the Candlewalk festivities.
Inside the Peet Community Center, you'll find the annual Festival of Trees, where you can send the little ones off to meet Santa as you browse dozens of festive decor items - all up for grabs, raffle-style (the final raffle drawing takes place Saturday at 8:30pm, but the Festival of Trees runs both Friday and Saturday from Noon - 9pm).
#5: Finding One More Excuse To Dust Off The Ugly Christmas Sweater
Whether you have one to be cheeky, or you have one and just don't know it, we know you have one. The Ugly Christmas Sweater. So dust off your festive duds and wear them with pride to the Chesaning Candlewalk Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest & Candle Crawl Pub Crawl. It kicks off Saturday the 28th at 8pm at the Peet Community Center (with registration from 8-9pm). Either $10 (or $5 and a toy donation benefiting local charities) gets you into the contest, and also snags you a commemorative glass and special discounts at participating pub crawl locations.
Whether you come for the kiddos (did we mention face painting, holiday magic shows, and cookie decorating, all on-site?), or you come for yourself (ahem... holiday decor shopping, a bake sale, and pub crawl, parents?), we know you won't want to leave the cozy Christmas Village of Chesaning.
So, this year, when you start to feel yourself nodding off with a belly full of stuffing and pie, throw on that oversized Ugly Christmas Sweater and kick off the joy of the holiday season with us in Chesaning.
But, before you do, be sure to make your list and check it twice with this 2015 Chesaning Christmas Candlewalk timeline & map of activities (it'll show you everything from when to take the kids to decorate cookies, to where you can hail your very own horse-drawn carriage ride!)