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Home For The Holidays

Ever since my family moved to Georgia, we have started to develop different holiday traditions. Every night before Christmas, my family puts the finishing touches on our fresh smelling Christmas Tree and snuggles on the couch for some Christmas movies. My mom always buys Christmas pajamas for my sister and me to wear,  my sister helps pick out the Christmas movie, and I usually am in charge of baking the cookies on Christmas Eve. We always have classic chocolate chip cookies, and sometimes we like to throw snickerdoodle cookies in the mix. Once everything is done, we watch our cheesy Hallmark movies until we all get too tired. 

This holiday season will be the first time I will be coming home from college. I will be traveling away from the warm sunny days in Arizona to the cold in Georgia, but I am excited to spend the month of December with my friends and family that I miss dearly. I am ready to visit the Marietta Square, go pick out the Christmas Tree, and enjoy some hot chocolate. Most importantly I am prepared to wake up in my bed after four months. 

~ by Elon


As a Native New Yorker, Christmas in the city was always my favorite time of the year. I loved kicking off the holiday season watching the balloons being blown up for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was almost as exciting as going to the parade itself. It felt like a secret event that only us natives were privy to, seeing the huge deflated balloons of one of the many characters being filled with air. There would be people giving out hot chocolate, we were all talking and laughing, everyone felt like a neighbor and a friend. Then in early December I would  stand in the crowds of people to see the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center. Whether you were up close or blocks away it was always thrilling to count down with the crowd and see the lights turned on the tree for the first time that season. Ice skating with my cousin and brother in Central Park  was always a great addition to my holiday fun. The holiday decorated windows in the stores on Fifth Avenue  and other department stores around the city were always impressively magical. It all ended with the ball drop in Times Square on New Year's Eve, and what a party that was. So when I moved to Marietta I wasn't sure if it could hold up to the excitement of my New York holiday experiences. I am happy to say that I was wrong!

I now kick off the holidays by dancing in The Nutcracker with the talented young dancers of Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre. A nutcracker that becomes a prince, dancing dolls, toy soldiers and enchanted fairies are now a part of my holidays. So are well-trained dancers, great choreography, art direction and an amazing crew of volunteers that make up our dance family.

The Historic Marietta Square is transformed into a winter wonderland from the time Santa arrives in an antique candy apple red fire truck until well into the new year. I  never miss Santa's arrival and the lighting of the Christmas Tree with performances by local school's choruses and bands on the main stage. I love walking around Glover Park and seeing the decorations of giant toy soldiers, lights, red bows, garland and the Festival of Trees. Santa's reindeer are even located all around the park. I always get a group together to go ice skating at the rink on the Square and pile everyone in the car for a drive through the Lights of Life University holiday display.

One of my favorite things to do for the holidays, usually the first weekend in December, is the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour. The tour showcases six private homes restored and phenomenally decorated in the historic districts around the Square. We end the holidays with a day of family fun activities and our own "ball" drop , it's actually the Chick- Fil -A Chicken that drops on the Square at midnight on New Year's Eve. In Marietta, Christmas on the Square is still my favorite time of the year.           

by Gina

Written by Elon Graves and Gina Duncan


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