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Holiday and Christmas traditions in Colorado

 I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens.

Did you know that the first commercial Christmas card was commissioned in 1843? The card designed by John Calcott Horsley for Henry Cole and pictured here depicts family and friends enjoying a holiday drink together, a festive toast to the new year. The card cost a shilling or approximately 6 cents a piece, quite a lot of money back in 1843.

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Since then Americans have sent billions of Christmas and holiday cards through the mail but now with technology it seems that the tradition of sending Christmas cards might be waning. Every year it seems there are fewer Christmas cards received as friends and family look for simpler and less inexpensive ways to send holiday greetings. The greeting card industry estimates that 500 million e-cards are sent worldwide each year.

Americans are still buying Christmas cards though the industry notes that more than 2 billion boxed and individual Christmas cards were sold in the U.S. last year.

Will you be sending out Christmas cards this year? If not, what changed this tradition in your family the cost, the time or technology?

Another holiday tradition for many families is seeing Tchaikovsky’s much loved Christmas story, The Nutcracker. The Colorado Youth Ballet is presenting this timeless classic at the Pikes Peak Center this evening, Friday, December 14th with two performances at 5:00 and 7:30 p.m. Another musical Christmas event you might want to mark on your calendar is Saturday’s, December 15th performance of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony at The Citadel. At 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. the symphony ensemble will be entertaining shoppers with a fun selection of holiday favorites. Take some time and enjoy the music of the season from our talented local young performers.

If the Santa Express Train on The Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a must do for your family make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible, the train runs through the 26th of December but some evening times have already sold out. The much beloved train trip is popular with children and adults and creates a warm holiday memory for all who board the train.

A new tradition for many Colorado Springs residents is the Pikes Peak Community Cupboard Food Swap, a free community event. December’s event will be held Saturday, December 15th at 2:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Theater. If you haven’t participated before consider joining them with five or more of your homemade or handmade items to swap for someone else’s goods. Items including homemade jams, jellies, chutneys, soaps, lotions and more are welcomed. Read more about how it all works at the Pikes Peak Community Cupboard here.

Skiing, snowboarding, sledding and shoe shoeing are on the list of many Colorado families Christmas traditions and local ski resorts including Breckenridge make an effort to make the holiday time both memorable and special for both children and adults.

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Santa Claus visits Arapahoe Basin on December 22nd, Monarch on Christmas Eve, and Eldora Mountain Resort on Christmas Day with many opportunities for the children to get their photos taken with a skiing Santa. Winter Park is known and loved for their annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade a favorite event for many Colorado Springs residents.

And if you’ve always wanted to enjoy a sleigh ride check out this local Colorado business north of Fraser, Colorado that has been taking families Dashing Thru the Snow for 25 years.  Don’t forget to visit your favorite ski area’s website to see what new and fun events they have added for the holiday season.

What holiday or Christmas traditions are you adding this year?   

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