What do you do to get yourself in the holiday spirit? Did you put your holiday lights up in September during those summer-like days we had? Have you been listening to Christmas carols since before Halloween? Are the totes of decorations sitting in the family room waiting for the tree to be put up the day after Thanksgiving? If you’re a teeny tiny bit of a Grinch and just need a little coaxing to get in the holiday mood, there are a myriad of things to make that happen!
Let’s start with tempting your taste buds, ‘coz Grinch or not, everyone has to eat. The Fireside Dinner Theatre is offering an unforgettable musical version of a classic Christmas tale, and my personal favorite holiday movie (as long as it’s the original 1947, black & white version – I’m a fanatical purist with that movie!) with ‘Miracle on 34th Street’. Rosewood will have you looking back to remember all the songs, hymns, and carols that make this a magical time with ‘Christmas Remembered’, be it with holiday classics like ‘Silver Bells’ or ‘White Christmas’, or with a little bit of a beat and ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’. The Dancing Horses offers possibly their most spectacular show of the year in the Holiday Magic Show, with rhinestones, glitter and music to celebrate the holidays, along with a visit from Santa and their resident unicorn. Lake Lawn Resort will be hosting ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet, performed by the young people of The Dance Factory, a local dance school, on Nov. 25 at 7:30 pm (with Prime Rib Buffet) and Dec. 17 at 2 pm (with Champagne Brunch Buffet).
Seeing the effort someone else has put in with Christmas lights, especially when they go the extra mile with putting the lights to music that I can listen to from the warmth of my car, is always high on my list of things to do when getting in the holiday spirit. Rosewood’s ‘Listen to the Lights’ showing of outdoor lights and music begins Nov. 16 and lasts through Jan. 1. Running nightly from 5 – 11 pm, every 20 minutes, watch the entire facility light up to the sounds and music of the holidays on 92.9 FM.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Grand Geneva Resort will kick off their annual 6-week long ‘Christmas in the Country’ celebration with the 23rd Annual Illumination Ceremony, 4:30 – 7 pm. Enjoy holiday cookies, hot apple cider, activities for the kids, live entertainment, the gingerbread house display, and pictures with Santa, then gather outside by the large Christmas tree at 6 pm for the countdown to the illumination of more than 2 million lights throughout the property, followed by a dazzling Grand fireworks display. Starting on Nov. 20, as a fun way to experience all the decorations and lights at the Grand Geneva Resort, trolley tours are available at 5, 6, 7 and 8 pm, though of course you can see all of it from your own car as well. Another mode of transportation to see holiday lights is through the Santa Cruise on Geneva Lake with Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Embark on a magical Christmas boat cruise to Santa’s North Pole hideaway, enchanted by the shoreline holiday lights along the way. Running from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Eve (with the exclusion of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), seven nights a week and at a number of different times, this is sure to become a holiday tradition!
Get in the holiday spirit, give to a good cause and have the chance to win prizes?! I’m in! The Santa Cause Tree Festival kicks off Nov. 24, 4 – 9 pm, and runs Monday – Friday, 4 – 9 pm and Saturday/Sunday, noon – 9 pm, through Dec. 30. The ‘Twelve Charities of Christmas’ each create a themed winter wonderland by decorating a tree that includes marvelous prizes surrounding it. You can stroll through the trees, admiring the decorations and lights, and with the purchase of raffle tickets, enter to win prizes by putting your ticket(s) in your chosen charity’s raffle box(es). I hear tell there’s even a trip to Hawaii as one of the prizes!
Have you written your letter to Santa yet? Drop off your letter in the magical mailbox located in the main lobby at the Grand Geneva Resort and Santa will send a message back to you. You can even watch Santa’s helpers collect the mail at 4 pm each day to deliver it to the North Pole. I wonder if there’s a limit to how long the letter can be, making sure Santa understands how good a girl I’ve been this year and that asking for my own private island in paradise isn’t too much to ask for… Fine, I’ll take a tiny house on the beach if having to admit I wasn’t that good of a girl!
A visit with Santa is always a great way to get in the holiday spirit! And maybe the face-to-face time will get me the tiny house on the beach that a letter might not get in among all the letters Santa gets… The Grand Geneva Resort has breakfast with Santa every Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 25 through Dec. 24, 8 am – noon, including fun holiday activities, a keepsake family photo and magnetic frame to take home, and you can even dress in your pajamas for the photo as if it’s Christmas morning! Need more face time with Santa, then Lake Lawn Resort has to visits with Santa planned, Saturday, Nov. 25 or Dec. 16, 8:30 am and 10:30 am. There’s a children’s height breakfast buffet full of delicious breakfast items and treats, holiday-themed crafts to create, Christmas carolers, a life-size gingerbread house for scrapbook-worthy photos, and a chance to sit on Santa’s lap to share your wish list. An evening option with Santa is available with Geneva Lakes Family YMCA’s ‘A Night with Santa’ on Dec. 1, 6 – 7:30 pm. This is a free, family event with cookies, hot chocolate, crafts, photos, and story time with a very special guest. It’s also time to give back by bringing a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots or a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry. Old World Wisconsin hosts Father Christmas at their Old World Holiday Breakfast, Dec. 2 and 9, 9 am and 11 am, or Dec. 3 and 10, 9 am. Enjoy a delicious festive breakfast featuring live holiday music and a visit from four different Santa figures from four different traditions telling stories and singing songs.
Need design ideas for holiday arrangements to make your home be in the holiday spirit? Northwind Perennial Farm offers a class with their floral designer, Sharilyn, on Dec. 2, 10:30 – 11:30 am. Sharilyn will demonstrate design tips for combining greens, twigs and berries to help you create your own beautiful holiday arrangements. How about crafting homemade gifts for friends, family, co-workers, etc.? Think outside the (gift) box and create a gift in a jar at Aram Public Library on Dec. 5, 5:30 – 7 pm. There are two gift jar options, a spa experience and a dessert delicacy, with all materials and instructions included. For reference, both options sound good as a gift for me… just sayin’! Aram Public Library is also offering a class on edible holiday houses, Dec. 12 & 13, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. With all materials provided, put your construction skills to the test as you design and decorate a house made entirely from graham crackers, frosting and candy. Can you say ‘YUM’?!
So this barely touches the surface of all there is to get you in the holiday spirit! Check out the Events Calendar at VisitWalworthCounty.com for the full listing of holiday happenings and more.