Arkansas Winter December 05, 2016
by J.B. VanDyke It’s Not Christmas In Arkansas Until You Do These 16 Enchanting Things
You know that Natural State bucket list binder I’ve had you compiling for months and months? Don’t you think it needs a holiday section? Below you’ll find sixteen things you definitely have to do to have a proper Arkansas Christmas. From light shows to holiday food to the little things that make the Christmas season so magical, you’ve got to check off every one of these enchanting things to have the perfect Arkansas holiday season.
1. Spend time with your family.
It just isn’t the holidays without lots of hugs, tons of catching up, and a goofy family photo.
2. Do something nice for someone who can’t pay you back.
Lots of people take it upon themselves to give to those less fortunate during the holiday season, and Arkansans are no different. In fact, Arkansas is one of the most generous states in the nation. One great way to do that is to pick an angel off the angel tree and deliver Christmas to kids who might not get one otherwise. In fact, I challenge you to think of a child without a proper gift and NOT go select your own little angel.
3. Pick out your own Christmas tree.
Now do it the right way, y’all. Don’t sneak into the neighbor’s pasture or pull over on the side of the highway, go to a proper tree farm. You’ll get a great tree and support a hardworking local farmer in the process. I especially recommend Papa Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm at 4976 Warford Road in Benton, as it appears off-season Santa himself is trimming the tree pictured above.
4. Decorate your tree with homemade ornaments.
My favorites are the ones my children made for me: cheerful little snowmen and papier-mache santas and hand-cut snowflakes.
5. Go see Lights of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.
Step 1: Drive to the Fayetteville Square at the intersection of Center, Block, East and Mountain Streets.
Step 2: Wander through a winter wonderland.
6. Go see Lights of the Delta in Blytheville.
Step 1: Drive to 1405 Airbase Highway in Gosnell near Blytheville.
Step 2: Enjoy six million festive lights.
7. Go see Finney’s Christmas Wonderland in Crossett.
Step 1: Drive to 123 Goshen Road in Crossett.
Step 2: Enjoy the lights at the 2015 winner of ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight.
8. Pile in the car and drive through the amazing lights in your town.
You know that one neighborhood with the fantastic light displays? Over across town or just down the block? You know the one I mean. Have you been yet this season? No? Well, there’s no time like the present.
9. Spend some time in front of the fireplace.
Can you imagine anything more Christmas-y than a real wood fire? I can’t.
10. Find an amazing gift in a locally-owned shop.
After all, you can surprise the recipient with something unique and support small business at the same time.
11. See the Nutcracker.
With so many ballet companies performing the Nutcracker in the coming weeks, I’m sure you can find one in your little patch of the Natural State.
12. Visit Santa.
You probably won’t have to go all the way to the North Pole, either. Santa is all over the Natural State right now.
13. Drink hot chocolate.
. . . and egg nog and mulled cider and wine and . . . well, you get it.
14. Make use of your grandmother’s fudge recipe.
And if you make it yourself, you get to eat as much as you want. Actually, why don’t you just . . .
15. Make and eat all the candy!
And don’t forget the adorable cookies, too! On second thought, you should probably . . .
16. Make and eat all the food!
It simply isn’t the holidays without practically tons of delicious homemade food.
To find a Winter Wonderland,
check out this place. If you want to visit a Christmas town, you need to try one (or all!) of these.
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