The holidays are now upon us! I’ll admit that I equally get both excited and stressed this time of year. I absolutely love the holidays. It isn’t really a surprise since I grew up with a mom who loved to go all out during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. While I loved waking up on Christmas morning to a lot of presents under the tree, the best part of the holidays was the quality time we spent together. From all weekend baking sessions to fun holiday parties, we spent this special season enjoying each other.
Now that I’m the parent, I realize how much work it was for my parents to create these special memories for us. Even though many of them didn’t cost a lot of money, they put in a lot of effort to make sure the holidays were magical for us. With crazy schedules with work and school, I want to create a similar experience for my own kids.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that everyone enjoy the small things as much as the big. So I try to take a step back and ask myself is it really necessary before I commit. This way I can concentrate on a few wonderful experiences instead of filling our schedule so full that we can’t even be spontaneous, like playing in the snow on Christmas.
Me and my honey in the snow on Christmas! #christmas A photo posted by Emilie (@babylovingmama) on
One of our favorite holiday experiences is visiting our local festival of lights. I’m blessed to live in a city which has one in our own backyard. If you haven’t ever experienced one, they really are fun way to get into the Christmas spirit.
If you live in Minnesota or within driving distance, I highly recommend visiting a light festival. Did you know that Mankato, Minnesota features a holiday lights event? I didn’t! It is open nightly from November 27 to December 31, with over 1 million LED lights to walk or drive through. Our local event does not have a drive through option which would be very nice when the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you are familiar with Minnesota weather, you know it can be brutal during this time of year. If the weather is nice however, I highly recommend walking so you can enjoy the experience of other visitors around you.
Walk or drive through a Winter Wonderland for free during the Kiwanis Holiday Lights in Mankato’s Sibley Park. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights will use more than one million LED lights in an animated and choreographed display. Enjoy the Mary Dotson synthetic Skating Rink, live reindeer and visits with Santa on the weekends. Warming houses and concessions are available. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 27 with a holiday parade featuring illuminated parade floats. Visitors of the Holiday Lights can donate money or canned goods to be distributed to several local food shelves.
This could be a fun mini getaway for you and your family to add some joy into your holiday season!
Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out Visit Mankato for more information.
What you are your favorite ways to make the holidays more magical for your family?
This post is brought to you by Visit Mankato. All thoughts are my own.