We get it: It’s only December 20th, and you’re already burned out on the holidays. The crowds and traffic have probably made you feel embittered, and for good reason, but now is the perfect time to embrace your inner sense of wonder. Lean in to it. Pause and remember why this season is so magical, in the first place.
To that end, here’s our Hudson Valley holiday fun guide to help make your cold heart grow 3 sizes in one day, no matter how Grinchy you feel.
– Look at pretty Christmas lights and decorations.
When I was kid, we didn’t have a ton of money to spend on holiday plays and shows, so my dad would pack us into the car and drive us around the neighborhood to survey the holiday light displays. It’s still one of my favorite free holiday traditions, and there are plenty of places to feast your eyes on decorations in the Hudson Valley.
Head to Saugerties for the Sussin Family Light Show, which was featured on the ABC series the Great Christmas Light Fight. If the weather’s good, the lights are lit, so check on their Facebook page for updates.
Or, get fancy with a Guilded Age Christmas at Staatsburgh Historic site in Dutchess County, which offers tours of the historic site’s holiday finery through the end of December 2017.
– Skip the mall and shop like you give a damn.
So you haven’t finished your shopping. So what? Take a hard pass on the big box chain stores and purchase crafts from local artisans who need the money more. There’s still time to hit the Annual Holiday Fine Arts and Craft Small Gift Show at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon for thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts December 23rd.
Or, head to the Tarrytown Musical Hall for their holiday market, which has been running every Friday 4:30-9:30pm through December 22nd.
– Eat your feelings while supporting a good cause.
Maybe you just need to drown yourself in delicious food until January 2nd. There are worse ways to spend the holidays. Get yourself a copy of the Greyston Bakery cookbook and bake your way through over 80 recipes from the renowned Yonkers bakery. After you do that, visit Greyston.org and throw a few bucks their way to support Greyston’s myriad of community programs.
Or, take a little taste of the Hudson Valley food community and make some of the recipes in the book Hudson Valley Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Westchester to Columbia County. Buy it for your friends and insist they invite you over to dinner…after the holiday chaos has died down, of course.
What do you do to get into the holiday spirit in the Catskills and Hudson Valley? Tell us about it in the comments!