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Etsy Item of the Day: Wooden Sleigh Rides Sign

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All that talk about sleigh rides earlier today got me pining for a sleigh ride myself! When I saw this distressed wooden sleigh ride sign, I thought it was fitting that I share it today. Made from a piece of pine, the wood is stained, then finished with distressed paint in the color of your choice. Whether you give this sign to a loved one or buy it for yourself, it’ll fit in perfectly with other rustic holiday decor.
Etsy Item of the Day: Wooden Sleigh Rides Sign by JB Junk Market

Etsy Seller: JB Junk Market

And don’t forget about the special Etsy promotion that ends this Monday, December 12th!

Giddy Up & Go for a Sleigh Ride Near You

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Can you think of a better way to get into the holiday spirit than to go for a sleigh ride? Just imagine what it would be like to ride in an open sleigh through a winter wonderland—sleigh bells ringing, snow glistening, carolers singing… Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Below I’ve rounded up a few places for you to go this winter. So whether you’re planning a family trip or want to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic outing, throw on your winter coats and go on a sleigh ride!

Lake Placid Sleigh Rides – New York

Lake Placid, New York Sleigh Rides
While enjoying a fun-filled winter holiday in upstate New York, head to Lake Placid for a sleigh ride. Gliding through the snowy countryside will be an experience your family will never forget. Three different sleighs are available to accommodate groups and couples, and they are even equipped with heated seats and thick blankets to keep you warm! Go here to make a reservation online.

Lake Placid Sleigh Rides
2830 Wilmington Road
Lake Placid, NY 12946
518-241-3388

Ma & Pa’s – Ohio

Ma & Pa's Sleigh Rides | Cleveland, Ohio
Just 45 minutes outside of Cleveland, Ohio, Ma & Pa’s sits in the heart of Amish country. Pa hitches up the sleigh and drives you through the woods before bringing you back to the cabin for cookies, hot cocoa, and coffee. After you’ve had your fill, stop in Ma & Pa’s Gift Shop and pick up some of their delicious maple syrup (made in-house!). Call ahead to reserve your ride, but keep in mind that reservations can only be made a week in advance based on snow conditions.

Ma & Pa’s
15161 Main Market Road (Route 422)
Burton, OH 44021
440-548-5521

Mill Iron Ranch – Wyoming

Mill Iron Ranch Sleigh Rides | Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Whether you live in Jackson Hole or are visiting for winter vacation, stop by Mill Iron Ranch for a sleigh ride. As you ride through the picturesque Wyoming scenery, you’ll be in awe of the impressive mountains and numerous elk. At the end of the ride, you can enjoy a hearty dinner at the Mill Iron Ranch lodge. Call the ranch to make reservations.

Mill Iron Ranch
3495 Horse Creek Road
Jackson, WY 83001
888-808-6390

Mountain Springs Lodge – Washington

Mountain Springs Lodge Sleigh Rides | Leavenworth, Washington
The crisp winter air and snowy scenery add to the wonderful experience of sleigh rides at Mountain Springs Lodge. Sleigh bells jingling, snow crunching under the horses’ feet, and the snow glistening in the sunlight all add to the magical experience of riding through the frosty countryside. They offer a few different packages: sleigh ride only, sleigh ride with breakfast, or sleigh ride with dinner.

Mountain Springs Lodge
19115 Chiwawa Loop Road
Leavenworth, WA 98826
800-858-2276

Mt. Hood Adventure – Oregon

Mt. Hood Sleigh Rides | Portland, Oregon
If you’re near Portland, Oregon, then you’ll want to drive over to Mt. Hood Adventure this winter season. Climb aboard a sleigh and take the village tour which guides you through historic Government Camp where you’ll enjoy the glowing holiday lights. Click here to purchase tickets.

Mt. Hood Adventure
88661 Government Camp Loop Road
Government Camp, OR 97028
503-715-2175

Nordic Sleigh Rides – Colorado

Nordic Sleigh Rides | Breckenridge, Colorado
The fine folks at Nordic Sleigh Rides in Breckenridge, Colorado offer a few different sleigh rides. Reserve a private sleigh if you are planning to pop the question or want to enjoy time alone with your sweetie. For a family affair or an outing with friends, you can ride in the large red sleigh driven by two Belgian draft horses. Click here to make your reservation today!

Nordic Sleigh Rides
6061 Tiger Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424
970-453-2005

Yosemite Trails – California

Yosemite Trails Sleigh Rides |  Fish Camp, California
At Yosemite Trails in California, you’ll enjoy a fun-filled experience as you ride through the snowy trails in a sleigh driven by a cowboy. The sleigh stops in Skidders Camp where you can toast marshmallows and sip a cup of hot cider. When you’re ready, you’ll hop back in the sleigh to return to the lodge. As weather conditions vary, they may substitute the sleigh with a wagon if the snow levels are too low. Call ahead to verify the sleigh is running.

Yosemite Trails
7910 Jackson/Big Sandy Road
Fish Camp, CA 93623
559-683-7311

Additional Sleigh Rides:

There are so many more places to go for a sleigh ride! While I would love to tell you about all of them, I must return to my other elfy tasks. After the jump you’ll find a list of some more sleigh rides across the continental U.S.

Celebrate Christmas with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2016 Winter Tour

If you’re a long-time Trans-Siberian Orchestra fan, you may already know about their 2016 winter tour. And those of you who are familiar with their music—but have yet to see them in concert—you’re in for a treat! Between now and the end of the year, TSO will be performing dozens of shows across the United States. Titled The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, these concerts will feature some of TSO’s greatest hits, clips of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve TV special, and a live narrator.


Eeee! After watching the preview above, I really want to go! :) My favorite part is the very end when the choir sings “Christmas Canon.” (Click here to view a full video of that song.) The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is performing from Jacksonville to Seattle and many places in between. To see if they will be performing in your city and to purchase tickets, visit the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s website. When you purchase your ticket online, you’ll also get a digital copy of TSO’s new album!

Etsy Item of the Day: German Shepherd Dog Christmas Card

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Having grown up with German shepherds all my life, they are one of my favorite breeds. And since my own sweet puppy is a shepherd/lab mix, I naturally like this card. :) I love the whole scene: the snow, the cottage, the stocking, and especially the dog’s festive scarf. If your favorite pup is a different breed, check out the many other Christmas cards sold in this shop, such as bichon frise, schnauzer, basset hound, and more!
Boxed Set of German Shepherd Dog Christmas Cards

Etsy Seller: Judzart

A Very Merry Modern Nutcracker Performance

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Hip Hop NutcrackerEvery holiday season, I indulge myself in watching my favorite Christmas movies and listening to my favorite festive songs. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without them! And although I have my “must-have” list of holiday classics, I enjoy adding new favorites into the mix. So if you’re like me and want to spice up your Christmas traditions, you may be interested in the Hip Hop Nutcracker.

A unique spin on Tchaikovsky’s classic score, this thrilling performance combines rap music and hip hop dance into a modern holiday show. The Hip Hop Nutcracker tour kicked off last month, and it will continue traveling across the United States during the month of December. Ticket prices range from $10 to $95. Check the dates below to catch a show near you!

2016 Performance Dates:

Etsy Item of the Day: Woodland Animal Ornaments

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Aren’t these little animal ornaments adorable? They are all so cute, but I think my favorite is the badger—I simply love its stout shape and etched details. The other available ornaments are: fox, rabbit, squirrel, owl, deer, hedgehog, toadstool, and bear. You can purchase just one, or if you love them as I do, you can order the whole set.
Etsy Item of the Day: Woodland Animal Ornaments

Etsy Seller: Minifelts

Ring in the Holidays with the Singing Christmas Tree

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Last year I discovered the Singing Christmas Tree in Portland, Oregon, but at that time I didn’t realize what a global tradition it is! Every year folks all around the world are performing holiday shows that include a singing Christmas tree. I’m amazed at all the talented people who build the sets and the many others who sing, dance, and play instruments. Below are a few hand-picked shows that you can enjoy across North America.

Augusta, GA

Singing Christmas Tree - Augusta, GA
If you live near Augusta, GA, clear your schedule next weekend, because the Singing Christmas Tree at Abilene Baptist Church is performing for just 3 days. With a full orchestra, an original drama sequence, and over 85 singers, you won’t want to miss it! To get a taste of what you’ll see, check out this clip from last year’s show.

Abilene Baptist Church
3917 Washington Road
Martinez, GA 30907

December 9–11
Admission: Free! But make sure you get your tickets in advance from the main church office.

Charlotte, NC

Singing Christmas Tree - Charlotte, NC
For the 62nd year in a row, the Singing Christmas Tree in Charlotte, NC is entertaining audiences. This event will include a variety of talent such as puppetry, dance, and—of course—music! In addition to the regular performances, the Singing Christmas Tree is also putting on 2 abbreviated shows for kids. So whether young or old, everyone will be filled with joyful spirit.

Knight Theater
430 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

December 10–11
Admission: $13–39 (Click here to purchase.)

Jackson, MS


The Singing Christmas Tree in Jackson, MS boasts as being the longest running singing tree in America! The first performance at Belhaven University was held in 1933, which makes this year the tree’s 84th anniversary.

Belhaven University Bowl Stadium
1500 Peachtree Street
Jackson, MS 39202

December 2–3
Admission: Free!

Muskegon, MI (Grand Rapids Metro Area)

Singing Christmas Tree - Muskegon, MI
If you want to see the tallest Singing Christmas Tree in America, then you need to visit Muskegon, MI. This gigantic tree stands a towering 67 feet tall! It can hold 240 singers and is decorated with 25,000 lights. Unfortunately this performance is completely sold out for this year, but mark your calendars for next year so you can get your tickets early. In the meantime, enjoy this video from a previous year that includes footage of the tree being built.

Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts
425 W. Western Avenue #200
Muskegon, MI 49440

December 1–3
Admission: $15

Portland, OR

Singing Christmas Tree - Portland, OR
Folks in the Pacific Northwest can kick off the Christmas season at a performance of Portland’s Singing Christmas Tree. This musical production will delight audiences with two hours of traditional and contemporary music. A live orchestra, 350+ singers, dancers, and actors bring the spirit of Christmas to life!

Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR 97201

December 1–4
Admission: $20–48 (Click here to purchase.)

Sacramento, CA

Singing Christmas Tree - Sacramento, CA
For 60 years, the Singing Christmas Tree has been performing in Sacramento, and this year they are going all out to celebrate their anniversary. In addition to the choir, there will also be a 40-piece orchestra, dancers, actors, and soloists.

Capital Christian Center
9470 Micron Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95827

December 2–11
Admission: $5–25 (Click here to purchase.)

Vancouver, Canada

The Vancouver Singing Christmas Tree is such a beloved Christmas tradition that all their tickets are sold out. But if you haven’t already secured a ticket, don’t fret because you can still try to grab a seat. Get there early and wait in the “non-ticket holders” line. Thirty minutes before each show, they’ll start letting folks in until the auditorium is full. To get updates, follow their Facebook page.

Broadway Church
2700 East Broadway
Vancouver, British Columbia

December 2–11
Admission: Free!

Etsy Item of the Day: Himmeli Christmas Tree Topper

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Earlier this year, I learned how to make a himmeli mobile using cocktail straws and thread. Since my discovery of this traditional Finnish decoration, I now see himmelis everywhere! It is most common to see a himmeli in the form of a mobile, so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I found this himmeli Christmas tree topper! Made with copper pipe and copper wire, this tree topper has a very modern and minimalist feel to it. If you’re really loving this tree topper, you might also be interested in a matching himmeli wreath.
Himmeli Christmas Tree Topper

Etsy Seller: Morrison Makers

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

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As I mentioned earlier today, one of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights! Cities and communities all over the world are decorating their towns with holiday decorations and are kicking off the season with a tree lighting ceremony. In many places, you can expect a variety of fun festivities in addition to a grand evergreen, such as Christmas carols or live reindeer. Grab your hats and mittens and take your family to a tree lighting near you!

Austin, TX

Christmas Tree Lighting - Austin, TX
Photo credit: Downtown Austin Alliance

Make your plans to head into downtown Austin this Saturday, December 3rd, to participate in the Holiday Stroll. You’ll want to get there early because there’s much fun to be had! Shop the farmer’s market for holiday gifts at 5pm, then lift your voice and join the holiday sing-a-long at 6pm. Just as you’re getting warmed up, you can see the tree light up at 7!

Dublin, OH (Columbus Area)

The tree in Historic Dublin will be lit tonight! Brace yourself for an enjoyable evening, as kids can see live reindeer and visit with Santa, plus adults will enjoy watching artisans carve an ice sculpture. If that wasn’t enough to entice you, perhaps the free hot chocolate will—yum!

Geneva, IL (Chicago Area)

Christmas Tree Lighting - Geneva, IL
On Friday, December 2nd (tomorrow!) the jolly folks in Geneva, IL are putting on a spectacular holiday celebration. Santa Lucia’s arrival kicks off the festivities at 6pm, followed by Santa Claus himself who will light the tree. Stick around and roast some chestnuts, enjoy music from strolling carolers, or go for a carriage ride with your sweetie.

LEGOLAND California – Carlsbad, CA

Christmas Tree Lighting - LEGOLAND California
LEGO™ lovers in California will want to visit the LEGOLAND resort to see the giant Christmas tree made from thousands and thousands of bricks! Positioned near the entrance to the park, stop by to see this big tree come to life with twinkling lights every day from now until Christmas Day.

Marana, AZ (Tucson Area)

For those of you in the the metro Tucson area, hop in the car and take a short drive over to Marana for their tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 3rd. Fun for the whole family, the celebration starts at 3pm with performances by a youth choir, dance troupe, and more. Then at 6:30pm, the much anticipated Christmas light show will begin!

Mt. Pleasant, SC (Charleston Area)

Christmas Tree Lighting - Mt. Pleasant, SC
For 21 years, the folks in Mt. Pleasant, SC have been celebrating Christmas with an annual holiday parade. This year the festivities begin on December 11th at 5:30pm when the town’s Christmas tree will be lit. The tree lighting will be followed by a display of fireworks, and then the holiday parade will proceed through the streets. Want to find a good spectator spot? Click here to find out where exactly the parade will travel.

Philadelphia, PA

Christmas Tree Lighting - Philadelphia, PA
Roasted chestnuts, hot cocoa, and Christmas carols are just some of the fun things you’ll enjoy at this tree lighting ceremony. Rittenhouse Square is home to Philadelphia’s largest Christmas tree, so when the 5,000+ lights start glowing, it’s truly a sight to behold. Clear your schedule, because these festivities are tonight, December 1st!

Trafalgar Square – London

Christmas Tree Lighting - Trafalgar Square
In keeping with tradition, the grand evergreen in Trafalgar Square hails from Norway. Tonight, the Christmas tree will be lit at 6pm by a few folks, including the Norwegian Ambassador. If you miss this evenings’s festivities, you can mark your calendar for the Blessing of the Crib on December 4th or Carol Singing on the Square throughout the month.

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