As we roll into the final days of preparation for Christmas, I took a little time to reflect on the holiday cheer that makes Findlay home. Whether you’re a Findlay native, a transplant, or one that just comes to visit family and friends at the holidays I think you might agree with me on a thing or two on this list, or maybe you’ll even discover a tip to make your holiday experience a more enjoyable (and EASY, I’m all about easy!) experience. A lot of it revolves around food and drink, the term Eat, Drink and be Merry was made for me!
1. Santa’s House in Downtown Findlay is a picturesque setting of holiday spirit. With Kiwanis Santa’s House at St. Andrews Church families can make a final plea with the big man himself for what they’d like under the tree, then jump on a horse drawn carriage ride and take in the beauty of the lights and good spirits on the streets of Downtown Findlay.
2. And, the tree in Dorney Plaza is beautiful this year! The official lighting of the tree has come and gone, but we have another opportunity to join around the tree for Caroling in Dorney Plaza on December 20. I really like singing a good Christmas carol!
3. It seems as though impromptu gatherings at home happen a lot around Christmas. I am certain to have a stash of Dietsch’s Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Shirley’s Popcorn (Buckeye is a household fave) and Wolfies Nuts! Just like that, it’s a party!
4. I have two young girls and they have two grandmothers that love the tradition of decorating cookies with them, so I get off pretty easy! I do like to incorporate ad little experience of our own, so we’ve already made one Friday evening trip to Jen’s Buggy Whip Cake Art Studio where you can decorate your own cookies and leave the mess behind. Baker’s Café also has kits that make the decorating process easy peasy!
5. Champagne, period. (see point #3 & #4) In all seriousness, no holiday is complete without a toast to good health and fortune, so champagne is a must! Gathering Wine and Findlay Wine Merchant have great selections of bubbly! They see my smiling face multiple times throughout the month of December. Cheers!
6. North Pole Express at the Northwest Ohio Railroad Preservation is a sight to behold. Bundle up and channel your inner-child for a train ride through a winter wonderland. And the Christmas trees, there are 185 beautiful Christmas trees to see and an elf scavenger hunt. So fun!
7. Gift Certificates, specifically Downtown Findlay gift certificates. Talk about one stop shop, you can pick up gift certificates in $5 increments that can be used a number of participating downtown merchants. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving, I’m a big fan.
8. Back to entertaining, who wants to be slaving over a meal when you could be enjoying that time with family and friends? Not us! We have a standing order with Oler’s Bar and Grill for a catered taco bar, you really can’t go wrong with that set-up. We haven’t mastered the Oler’s margarita recipe at home, but growler fills from Findlay Brewing Company are a huge hit. The seasonal’s this year are amazing – Gingerbread Amber, Gose of Christmas Past, YaYa’s (my current selection!) and Sugar Plum Fairy. (It. Has Glitter!)
9. Luminaries on South Main Street is such a treat! Either driving down the full length of Main Street with Christmas music blaring or taking a stroll along the sidewalks, this is one of my very favorite Findlay traditions.
10. The people! Findlay is second to none when it comes to breeding good people. While shopping, dining, volunteering for a cause or just sitting around my kitchen island, I know I’m with good people and that is what makes the holidays HAPPY!