Van Wert Christmas Garden, Van Wert, Ohio

The Van Wert 4-H club acts as host for the tenth annual Holiday Light Show at the Fair, which is a drive-through light show that takes place every Thanksgiving through Christmas. The exhibits are themed for the holidays, of course! Local organizations support and build each of the individual scenes. And of course Santa will be there each Saturday to help ring in the holidays! The perfect family friend activity for the cold weather.

The Children’s Garden gets a holiday make over completed by the parks department who decorates the garden with thousands of lights, creating stunning displays that will delight young and old.

The display runs until Dec. 31st 5:30pm-11pm

Stan Hywet Hall “Deck the Halls” Akron, OH

Deck the Hall is one of the largest displays of holiday tradition in Ohio. The hall gets decked out with over one million lights. The Manor House includes a display of holiday post cards of the past. Dazzle is the fantastic and choreographed light show put on by Stan Hywet Hall. For the kids, the Playgarden gets turned into a fun and exciting Gingerbread Land.

The recurring event includes nightly tree lighting, and after Christmas the Gingerbread Man will be visiting the vent. There is also live music by area choirs and musicians. This beloved yearly event includes something for everyone. Holiday treats including cookies and cocoa. A fire in the courtyard. Visits with Santa and Rudolph. Several “Feature Photo Spots” are available to create family remembrances. There is also an animated Gingerbread Shop Window. Everything you could possibly want for a holiday party.

Dec. 14-23 and Dec. 26-30

Zanesville, Ohio (Muskingum County) Festival of Trees

Small-town Ohio doesn’t skimp on the Christmas cheer. Historic Zanesville, OH again will present their Festival of Trees, open to the public and for all ages. The Festival of Trees to will bring wonderment to those both young and old (and everyone in between).

The Festival of Trees is an Annual Holiday Tradition in Zanesville/Muskingum County and not to be missed for serious Christmas celebrators.
Visit the Muskingum County Welcome Center to start of the festival on November 30th from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Beautifully decorated trees and holiday decorations will be on display.

Then on November 30, come walk through the Festival of Trees 2017 entries from 10:00am-6:00pm. The Live Auction of over 200 festival entries begins on December 1st at 9:00am and ends at 6:00pm. Join in all day during the auction for networking, bidding and holiday cheer! The “Happy Hour” gathering at the auction will be from 3:30pm until 6:00pm.

Auction schedule will be posted at www.zmchamber.com the week of the event. For more information call 740-455-8282 or 800-743-2303.

Holiday Traditions: New and Old

Being that this will be the last blog before Christmas, it seemed appropriate to discuss some ideas that might help enhance your holiday experience with your family.

Many of our holiday rituals revolve around old family traditions that have been passed down through generations. Youth are often disinterested in things that or “old” or “not cool”. Passing down your family’s traditions – whether they be unique to your family or particular to your cultural heritage – can be an important and powerful way to bond with young people in your life. If you have cultural traditions, finding a fun way to teach them the history of the tradition can enrich their understanding of why your family does it what does, year after year, during the holidays.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with a child wanting and expecting a gift on Christmas, getting your children involved in the giving aspect is just as important as them receiving the Christmas you want for them. Taking them out to choose a coat or toy to donate to a local charity can help them understand the importance of community and charity. Or perhaps helping them prepare some food or treats for a needy family in your neighborhood would be a good way to spend some time together and teach them a valuable lesson. Helping elderly neighbors make their driveways and walkways safe in the winter weather might also be an option.

Whoever the child is in your life, you cannot just tell them they need to be charitable. You need to demonstrate the spirit of charity yourself. Make it a group activity.

Getting your young adults involved in prepping your home and meals for extended family and other guests can be a good way to demonstrate that the “magic of Christmas” takes a lot of work on someone’s part. Teaching them how to prepare family favorite recipes is a great idea as well.

And if you yourself are finding some traditions stale, get the young people in your life in on inventing new traditions. Let them be creative and come up with something they find relevant and fun. Or have them help you update an old tradition.

However you celebrate, we hope you find love, light and family and wish you the best for the coming New Year.

23rd Annual Festival of Trees, Zanesville, OH

The Zanesville Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce is hosting their 23 annual Festival of Trees.

Visit the Muskingum County Welcome Center begin the festival on November 30th from 5:00pm-8:00pm for the Miracle on Main Street. Beautifully decorated trees and holiday decorations will be on display Muskingum county residents and visitors to enjoy.

Then on December 1st, come walk through the Festival of Trees 2016 entries from 9:00am-6:00pm. The Live Auction of over 200 festival entries begins on December 2nd at 9:00am and ends at 6:00pm. Join us all day during the auction for networking, bidding and holiday cheer “Happy Hour” gathering at the auction will be from 3:30pm until 6:00pm.

The money raised for the Festival of Trees comes back to the Chamber of Commerce. They support the local business community and have been helping local business owners in a variety of ways since 1905.