What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Every Christmas season, one of my favorite traditions is driving around and looking at Christmas lights.

I think this was something my father instilled in me. Some of my favorite memories growing up were looking at Christmas lights. Every year, after our school Christmas concert, we would drive around looking at Christmas lights in my hometown of Spooner, Wis. My parents were never in a rush, as they enjoyed looking at the lights as much as my two sisters and I did.

Once back at home, we would complete the night with hot chocolate, made with milk. My father would never make it with water, as he said making it with milk always tasted better.

A couple weeks ago, I came across an email for Holiday Lights in the Park (www.lightsinthepark.org.). The email said it was a spectacular drive-through holiday light show located in Phalen Park in St. Paul, with all net proceeds benefitting Second Harvest Heartland, United Gospel Mission, Saint Paul Parks Conservancy and Under Construction, an educational program for metro high school students to “earn while they learn” about construction as a career choice.

Well, I couldn’t resist—last Thursday night, a friend and I checked out the holiday display and it was spectacular. St. Paul’s Phalen Park is transformed into a fantasy of lights and color. More than 50 larger-than-life holiday sculptures and animated displays bring the season to life. You enjoy the display from the comfort of your warm vehicle, and it was a good feeling knowing the minimal cost to enjoy this display was going to a good cause. It was definitely worth the drive to St. Paul.

One of my other favorite holiday traditions I’ve started as an adult is collecting Grinch figurines and decorations. Every Christmas, I put out my Grinch collectibles in the curio cabinet in my living room. I’m not sure where my infatuation with the Grinch came from, but it’s become a fun new tradition that I enjoy. And every year, I look forward to ordering a couple of new pieces.

With the season upon us, what is your favorite Christmas tradition? Do you happen to have a unique story to share with us? If so, email your story idea to [email protected] and we’ll take a look at it and contact you if interested in more information.

We also have a brief announcement in this week’s newspaper on page 3 about a holiday lights display located in Cambridge that benefits the local food shelf. In the next few weeks, we will have another feature story coming on another spectacular display in Isanti.

If you have a holiday light display you would like to share with our readers, email your address and information to [email protected] and we will compile a listing to share with our readers. Lights are expensive, and a lot of work. Share your love of lights with others.

As always, we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.