LOCAL TRADITIONS THAT MAKE THE SEASON JOLLY AND BRIGHT

CANDLELIGHT NIGHTS

STORY: Sue Rodman

Holiday traditions bond families and make the season all the more special, whether it’s baking cookies together using a handed down recipe, bundling up for a trip to a pop-up stand to pick out the perfect Christmas tree (see related story on page 56) or taking in the numerous events happening around town. You don’t have to go far to get into the festive spirit. Here are five classic area holiday celebrations.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE GEORGIA BOY CHOIR

Dec. 20-21

Christmas with the Georgia Boy Choir is a melodious celebration of the season held at the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead and performed by all five levels of the choir. To make things extra special, a full orchestra and the church’s Mander pipe organ accompany the boys as they sing classic Christmas carols and other holiday favorites. Be sure to arrive early, as this event always has a packed house. Tickets range from $15 to $40.

georgiaboychoir.org/events/christmas20


MACY’S PINK PIG

Nov. 2-Jan. 5

What started as a children’s ride through the downtown Rich’s department store has turned into an iconic Atlanta tradition. Since 1953, Atlanta families have been riding Priscilla the Pink Pig as part of their annual holiday celebration. But instead of traveling around Rich’s, Priscilla now meanders through a tented storybook outside the Macy’s department store at Lenox Square. Proceeds from rides and merchandise go toward Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Go early in the season to beat long lines. Tickets are $3 per ride, with discounts available for multi-ride tickets (two rides for $5.50, three for $7.50).

visitmacysusa.com/article/macys-pink-pig


SPARKLE SANDY SPRINGS

Dec. 8-31

Sandy Springs kicks off its third annual Sparkle Sandy Springs event at City Green Dec. 8. Opening night includes a Christmas tree and menorah lighting, a holiday light and art display, music performances, food trucks, hot chocolate and more. Throughout the rest of the month, the City Green remains adorned with 6-foot-tall wooden houses painted in festive themes, and the houses and surrounding area are decorated with lights to create a magical display visitors can stroll through. Best of all, admission is free.

visitsandysprings.org/sparklesandysprings


CANDLELIGHT NIGHTS

Dec. 13 & 20

The Atlanta History Center welcomes guests for two very special evenings. Shop the lively Holiday Market filled with local crafts and artisan creations, or have the kids make their own crafts to take home. Then visit the three historic houses on-site, each handsomely dressed in period holiday finery, to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm), the 1930s (Swan House) and the pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin). Timeless holiday music fills the air, and costumed interpreters bring characters from the pages of history to life. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $15 for members and $10 for children.

atlantahistorycenter.com/programs/candlelight-nights-9


HOLIDAY TEA AT THE WHITLEY

Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 22 On the weekends leading up to Christmas, bring the kids to The Whitley hotel in Buckhead for Holiday Tea with Santa. In addition to pots of tea, enjoy specialty finger sandwiches and pastries. Youngsters can decorate cookies and gingerbread houses, while the adults enjoy the Champagne Sparkle Bar. Tickets are $55 for adults, $40 for children.

thewhitleyhotel.com