The Philadelphia Outsider
Discovering Philadelphia from the Outside In

A few weeks ago (in the middle of the 12 Days : 12 Ways : 2 Buy Local series), US Airways Magazine named Philadelphia the #1 Best City for Getting Into the Holiday Spirit.

I couldn’t agree more (though admittedly I’ve only been in one of the other top 15 cities during the holidays – London, which was indeed beautifully festive).

The joyful happenings around town are so plentiful, I’m left thinking, “Where can I get that cloning technology so I can go to everything. Experience everything.”

In the past month we’ve done our best to participate in the city-wide celebration. We endured a very cold lighting of the City Hall Christmas Tree (and consequently Christmas Village). The Narberth Dickens Festival, where the streets were transformed into 18th century London, was such a fun way to spend a winter afternoon with family.  And dear old Santa Claus at Center City Macy’s was worth the wait and oh so sweet to my little ones.

Soldier Boy and Miss Sassafras @ Philadelphia City Hall Tree Lighting

Sadly, our timing was off to see the light show in the Grand Court, but we might make it down there one last time before the lights dim for the season.

Speaking of little ones, my kids have delighted in several quintessential Christmas-in-Philly experiences, including the Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular show at Comcast Center and countless other opportunities to celebrate this special time of year.

Yes. I’m aware these kinds of things happen in cities and towns all over America, but this year for me … I don’t know … they hold a unique merriment. Possibly because it’s all new to me and I’m eager to establish our own uniquely-Philadelphia family traditions.

Everyday I cringe at the possibility of missing the next interesting event. Last weekend’s big misses were the Running of the Santas (and I know the boy would have loved seeing that) and the Independence Seaport Museum Lighted Boat Parade.  Much as I would have liked to go, my family just needed the down time.  (Really, I needed it!)

But I’m making a list. And next year, I’ll check it twice to make sure we get to see all the things we missed this time around.

Who knows, I may try to pack in a few more festivities in these last days of December.  Philly Parents Circle just published a list of holiday happenings we might have to do before year-end.

Where will I find you celebrating?