What’s your most beloved holiday tradition? Growing up, my favorite December treat involved not gifts or cookies but an annual campout beneath my family’s Christmas tree. After spending nearly an entire day each year cutting it down, stringing it with lights, and festooning it with ornaments, my (surely exhausted) mother allowed my little brother and me to spend one special night beside it. We’d drag our bulky sleeping bags to the living room, set up pallets on the floor, and whisper about what presents we might receive from Santa. My mom would even let us leave the lights plugged in, so that if we woke at some unholy hour, we could gaze up at the glowing spectacle until we fell back asleep. I can still remember waking to the scent of pine on my pillow; it was magical. In years to come I look forward to treating my kids to Christmas tree campouts of their own, and sending this little family ritual into the next generation.

This time of year, traditions like this abound—both in our homes and in the community at large. We bake the same cookies our grandmothers baked, we play the same songs and games we enjoyed as children, and we gather with friends and neighbors for a host of merry festivities across the region. Roaring Fork Lifestyle’s final issue of 2019 features some of the valley’s biggest holiday traditions, old and new.

Whatever your favorite ways to celebrate the season may be, we hope they find you in the company of your dearest loved ones this year, and for many years to come. 

Warmest wishes for a beautiful December.