What To Do For Christmas In Charleston

What To Do For Christmas In Charleston

Some fun and enjoyable things to do around Charleston when it is Christmas time.

Living in Charleston, SC year-round can get sort of boring during some parts of the year. If you aren't at least 21, there isn't all that much to do other than the same old thing every day.

There are a few extra ideas you can do during the Christmas season, thankfully. Some of the ideas are great to show people that aren't normally in the area and there are many group ideas!

Overall though, there are plenty of family-friendly events and activities during the holiday season.

One of the best things to do around this time of the year is going to the Festival of Lights at the James Island County Park. It is a whole light show that you drive slowly through with your headlights off (though most people don't turn their headlights off anymore and thus ruin it for people). It takes about 30-60 minutes to go through all the lights if there is a high abundance of people there at once.

It really depends on how many cars stop and take a picture of every single light they see. There are also three parking lots that allow you to get out and walk around and look at some lights as well.

You can make s'mores, look at some cool artwork, check out the sand castle, take a train around the park, and so much that you should go and look at! Kids also have the opportunity to meet and get pictures taken with Santa, so I would highly suggest bringing little kids.

Another option is to go Downtown and walk through Marion Square and look at the Christmas Tree of Lights. It's this massive tree in the middle of the park that has hundreds of lights and it takes them a few days to put together.

The whole outside of the park is lined with lights as well! It is quite a beautiful sight to see.

While in Downtown Charleston, you can also walk through the College of Charleston campus and look at the Cougar Night Lights. The Cougar Night Lights take place in the Cistern Yard from the hours 6 p.m.-9 p.m. every day of the week.

If you're looking for a more historical theme, you could head on over to Middleton Place. It is a plantation where you can walk around, get a tour of the plantation or of the house, pet some cute animals, and enjoy their little gift shop.

They also have a restaurant that is decorated with lights! You can also stay at the beautiful Middleton Place Inn on the plantation for a more active experience that gives you admission onto the plantation, just a short walk from your room.

If you just want something small you can go to Downtown Summerville and they have a small little area lit up all pretty with a Christmas tree and other stuff.

There is also plenty of small boutiques to walk around and explore. Try some of the dining options that are in the area as well; most are small, family-owned places.

Cover Image Credit: Max Pixel

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Putting Away Christmas

It sometimes feels like the end, but it's not.

It's probably the worst time of the year for those of us who love Christmastime. At least in the days immediately following December 25th, it's still socially acceptable to listen to your favorite Christmas carols, keep your Christmas lights plugged in, and enjoy your tree and decorations.

But, sometime after New Years, the day inevitably comes when the celebration of the Christmas season must give way to the next one. Whether you throw your tree out promptly on January 1st, wait for the official changing of the Christian liturgical season at Epiphany (January 6th), or just take everything down when you have time, there's a definite sadness that accompanies the un-decorating process.

First, there's the sheer amount of work involved in taking everything down and packing it away for next year. It takes time and effort to locate every tiny ornament hidden in the boughs of your Christmas tree, tenderly wrap each fragile figurine in a Nativity set, and untangle the many strands of lights that illuminated your yard all December. We spend hours putting everything away, not to mention vacuuming tree needles and glitter off of the rug.

Once everything is safely stored in the basement or garage, of course, it's guaranteed that we'll find one last decoration that we completely forgot about, meaning that we have to somehow make space for it in one of the already-overstuffed boxes of ornaments and tinsel and lights. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

Christmas teardown is also a reminder of just how much stuff we accumulate, and just how little of it we really need or care about. Now is probably a good time to get rid of some of it so that we'll have less to store, put up, and take down next year, but often in our mourning for the ending of the Christmas season, we find it difficult to part with almost anything. We make mental pacts with ourselves not to buy any more decorations next year, but then immediately break our resolutions when we see the cute little nutcracker ornaments on a great sale a week after Christmas, or when all the new decor begins to appear in stores the following October.

And of course, there's the essential fact that putting away Christmas decorations means the ending of one of the most beautiful, festive, and happy times of the entire year. The decorations in the stores and around town gradually disappear, the number of family gatherings and parties on our calendars begins to dwindle, school and work resume as vacations end. Everyone and everything just seems a bit less jolly as the bleak wintry weather of January sets in.

But even in the face of a long winter devoid of Christmas cheer, there's still hope. There's hope for exciting holidays ahead, like sweet, romantic Valentine's Day or joyous Easter Sunday. There's hope for changes in weather, like potential snowfall and the eventual coming of spring, when the earth will finally come back to life in flowers and birds and trees and EVERYTHING. And for those who celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, there's the promise that Immanuel, the presence of God With Us, doesn't go away even when we've put away our manger scenes and stopped listening to O Holy Night.

Before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner once again, and we'll get to enjoy our favorite holiday traditions and celebrations sooner than we think. Even though lovers of Christmas will never not struggle when Christmastime comes to an end, we can take comfort in the fact that the cycle of the seasons continues, bringing so many other things to enjoy until Christmas comes again.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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The 7 Stages Of Preparing For Christmas As Told By Buddy the Elf

I'm in a store and I'm singing!

Ahhh Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. Sometimes preparing for Christmas can actually be the most enjoyable part of the holiday season, and no one knows Christmas like Buddy the Elf!

1. Waking up on December 1st and going into full Christmas prep mode.

2. Eating massive amounts of food.

3. Making Christmas plans with your friends.

4. Doing some festive holiday shopping.

5. Getting everyone around you pumped for the big day.

6. Responding to all the 12 year olds out there saying that "Santa isn't real".

7. When you wake up on December 26th and realize there are only 364 days left until Christmas!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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