Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Lights in Denver--Merry Christmas to All!


Denver, Colorado has the Christmas spirit! Every year major buildings in the city are lit during the Grand Illumination ceremony, following a long history of  Christmas lights in the city.


Every Christmas the City and County Building is lit with a fantastic array of 600,000 LED lights.  There is a long history behind the lighting of this building, which I detailed on a prior post--click here to read.  (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)



It is always inspirational to see the Nativity scene on the steps of the City and Country Building.  


This year Denver's newly renovated Union Station was also beautifully lit with LED lights!


Do you see the train in the branches of the 35 foot tall Douglas Fir Christmas tree outside?


There is a magnificent Christmas tree inside the station, decorated with beautiful ornaments in a vintage theme. We visited the station a few times this year to shop and dine at the restaurants inside. It is a wonderful place to meet friends and relax at the station's numerous chairs, tables and benches, while in Denver.


Many of Denver's buildings and hotels are beautifully decorated for the Christmas season and my husband and I enjoyed strolling around the city to see them.  Our weather has been very mild so far this year, so it has been pleasant to enjoy the city when we have the opportunity.


There is free ice skating at Southwest Rink at Skyline Park if you have your own ice skates, otherwise there is a low fee to rent skates. The 16 Street Denver Mall is well lit and full of stores to shop in for holiday gifts, with free bus service going back and forth along the streets.  The annual Chrsitkindl German Market is very popular with residents and visitors to the city, click here to read my post about the market this year. It always looks like Christmas on Larimer Square, with the lights strung cross this premiere Denver location for upscale boutiques and fine dining.


The very best part of the 2014 Christmas season has been spending time with our grandchildren! Our littlest grandson was in a pre-school Christmas pageant, our oldest grandson had a birthday, and our granddaughter went to a Santa Claus breakfast with us!  They keep us busy and happy and we are looking forward to sharing Christmas Eve and Day with them!

There were many other things I wanted to share about the Christmas holiday here in Denver, but it will have to wait until after the big day! Come back to  my blog soon to see the Colorado Governor's Mansion decorated for Christmas and some special recipes I made for the holidays.

Wishing you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!


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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas at Our House!




Welcome to my home!  We have been busy decorating for Christmas, both outside .....


....and inside! This is our eight foot Noble Fir Christmas tree. It was so heavy we decided to place it by our staircase this year, instead of in front of our living room windows. I like how it looks here, and it is easy to walk around and see all our ornaments. I'll also have room to place all our family's presents underneath, on Christmas Eve! The first rule I taught my 22 month old granddaughter about the tree was: "Look, but do not touch!" Smile.  She has been very good, so far!


Another view of the tree during the daytime, and from a different angle.  We placed the cotton fluff on our staircase railing to protect it from being scratched by the lighted garland we hung there.  When my granddaughter first saw it she said:  "Look!  Clouds!" 


I love to decorate my tree every year, as almost every ornament on it holds a special meaning for me. Some have been handmade by my children when they were young, and some by my grandsons. I'm sure my granddaughter will add her own creativity to our tree one year in the future.


Many ornaments were purchased on our vacations.  I'm showing just a few.  They are a Santa starfish from the Outer Banks in North Carolina, a cable car from San Francisco, a Brown bear from Yellowstone National Park, another bear from Quebec, Canada, the opera house in Sydney, Australia, a Big Apple from New York, City, a Saint Nicholas from the German Christkindl Market in Denver, a beaded Texas flag from San Antonio, Texas, Santa crushing the grapes from Napa Valley, California, an America Eagle from Washington DC, a Belleek Saint Patrick from Dublin, Ireland, a wild sunflower that we saw all over Wyoming, and this year's 100th anniversary Columbine flower ornament of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park!


I have a weakness for both Santa Claus and Snowmen, so my tree is also filled with both ornaments,
as well as ornaments that friends and family have given to me over the years.  There are really too many to show in one blog post, but each and every one is so special to me!


I have a small artificial tree on my kitchen island, as well as my two ornament baker "helpers" that stand underneath. The beautiful Waterford Santa Claus cookie jar was a gift from my husband many years ago.  The stuffies around my fireplace are there for my grandchildren to enjoy.


Our Nativity set was purchased the first year we were married, forty years ago! It also holds many memories for me.  The angels turn as "Silent Night" plays from the music box underneath.


Of course, in an Italian home food is also an important part of the Christmas holiday, and I adopted many of my husband's Calabrian food traditions, as well as my American holiday food traditions,  into my menu. Last year's feast is shown above. From appetizers to homemade Christmas cookies for dessert, we enjoy a holiday "abbondanza," which means an abundance in Italian.

We are so thankful for all our blessings and our ability to make Christmas a holy and happy holiday for our family! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into our holiday--I look forward to seeing your traditions!

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