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Ever since I moved away from home my Mom made it her goal to pack as much Christmas spirit into the short amount of time I was home visiting as possible. That meant a flurry of baking Christmas cookies, shopping for gifts, decorating, and craft fairs were packed into a few short days. One thing that she always made sure made it onto the list was a silly simple tradition: stopping for holiday themed milkshakes and going in search of the best Christmas light displays around town. Now, it’s a whole family affair that includes my brother and sister-in-law. The first time, however, was an almost spur of the moment decision after a dinner with just me, my Mom, and my Dad.
My Dad does not count patience among his personal virtues. If it involves waiting or what he views as “wasted time” he’s been known to get a bit cranky. Knowing that about him, and the wait that would be involved with getting the best view she devised a plan almost shockingly simple: we’d make a stop first to pick up his favorite holiday treat, a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake. It would distract him long enough that most of the wait would be over before he’d even realize what was happening and keep him happy. So, after dinner, away we went! With his milkshake in hand, we drove around, found a display Mom had heard about on the news and waited a solid 15 minutes in line with other cars to see it before he’d even looked up and noticed what was happening.
When he finally finished slurping down the very last of his milkshake, looked up and asked,“where are we, and what are we doing?” Mom and I devolved into a fit of giggles in the front seats. Once we filled him in, he laughed with us and (belly full of ice cream) happily joined in singing Christmas music while we waited our turn to see the lights. What started as a silly, quick decision to drive around and find Christmas light displays over the years has morphed into a heavily researched and planned trip out to see the best Christmas lights that Raleigh has to offer. Still though, it always begins with a stop for milkshakes.
Feel free to share any of your favorite family memories in the comments, especially if you know of a good light display in the Raleigh area! As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
Until next week,
Kendall and all of us at Beth’s Christmas