The Holiday Traditions Of Waukesha, Wisconsin

The Holiday Traditions Of Waukesha, Wisconsin

There's nothing quite like the way Waukesha glows during the holiday season.
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It's that season again, the season of putting up the tree, buying all the presents and, of course, getting lit. While everyone in just about every town spreads their holiday spirit, there's nothing quite like the way Waukesha, WI glows up for the holiday season.

After Halloween has passed our beloved Lifeway cow, Gertrude, takes her witch hat off and everyone starts preparing for the for the day after Thanksgiving when she starts to rock her Santa hat. Once Gertrude is in the Christmas spirit, everyone else is ready to deck the halls too!

The early December holiday season kicks off with the Waukesha Christmas Parade. Here you'll see the friendly faces of all the community club members, including the high schools' dance teams and band/ color guard. The holiday parade is the place to enjoy and appreciate what different members in our community do. It Is also just a fun time, until it's too cold to feel your toes.

While driving late at night to check out all of the Christmas lights, take a drive down Emslie Lane — or just about any neighborhood with light posts outside — to see the lit-up snowmen heads at the end of every driveway.

The CP Christmas train is a special gift that costs nothing to see. The train lights up and passes through many cities in the Midwest, including Waukesha, grabbing many people's attention. Once the train has people's attention, it accepts donations of nonperishable food items and more for the food banks across the Midwest.The train is the longest rolling food bank and provides entertainment and help for a good cause. So, when you see a train that looks like the polar express, be sure to consider making a difference and helping your local community.

Downtown Waukesha is always filled with Christmas spirit. This time of year, People's Park is where it's at. Once you see the green and red balloons outside the door, you already know they're blasting the Nora Jones Christmas album inside. The artwork on the walls has also changed from the "usual" to snowmen and snowflakes and Santa. The workers themselves are like Santa's little elves, wearing Santa hats as they deliver you the precious gift of their weekend brunch specials.

The holiday drinks at The Steaming Cup are back! They're like a dessert, a drink and a work of art with all of their colorful sprinkles, whipped crème and latte designs. While you're enjoying your coffee, take a peek out the window to see the magical horse-and-carriage, or take a ride downtown yourself.

When the temperature really starts to drop, Main Street will fill up with ice sculptures sculpted by residents of Waukesha themselves. The sculptures last just as long as Waukesha's winters do, which is a long time so there's no excuse to not see them!

Downtown Waukesha is known for its special themed runs and the holiday season has its famous 5k Santa Run. The 5k starts at Taylor's People's Park, takes you down Main Street, Frame Park, and over the Fox River. The run awards prizes for best costume and seasonal theme, so you better believe you'll see just about every one of Santa's elves, reindeer and the big man in the red suit — times 100! While the race is a 5k in the cold Wisconsin weather, which can be rough, it is still a fun time for all ages and an experience of a lifetime.

Finally, the biggest holiday tradition Waukesha has is visiting the Country Christmas Light Show, which just so happens to be Wisconsin's largest drive-thru holiday light show. This year will be the 21st year of Country Christmas, proving the holiday season in Waukesha is LIT! (pun extremely intended.) Just to get a feel of what this experience is really like, I'll tell you there are five themed sections including: Christmas village, Country Christmas trail, Streets of Bethlehem, Prairieville, old time Waukesha and, of course, Barevillie, which is a personal favorite (it has hidden bears for your carload to count up throughout your drive — I won’t tell you the number of bears there are, you'll just have to find out for yourself!).

At the end of the mile long course, your car will reach a 200-foot-long tunnel of 30,000 lights, and while this may give you an extreme headache or even heart attack, it's something you won't want to miss seeing.

Cover Image Credit: Country Springs Hotel / Facebook

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52 Instagram Captions Perfect For Your Next Beach Vacation

Perfect for those beach daze.
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Summer is officially in full swing. We are all looking forward to the adventures that await us. A lot of us have been dreaming about the day when we finally get to kick our feet up and relax by the ocean. If you find yourself getting ready for a trip to the beach then read these quotes to help get your in the mood for your vacation. Whether you are looking for an Instagram caption or are just trying to settle a bad case of wanderlust, here are 52 quotes on summer:

1. "Hello summer."

2. "I'm happiest when I'm floating in the ocean."

3. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your toes."

4. "Life is better with palm trees."

5. "Sandy toes. Sun-kissed nose."

6. "Balmy nights, pink sunsets, and salty air."

7. "Talk to the sand."

8. "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air." -Emerson

9. "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should go to the beach."

10. "Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure."

11. "The ocean is calling and I must go."

12. "Here comes the sun."

13. "If it requires a bikini, my answer is yes."

14. "I'm just a beachy kinda girl."

15. "As free as the ocean..."

16. "As endless as the ocean, as timeless as the tides..."

17. "Life's a beach. Enjoy the waves."

18. "A pineapple a day keeps the worries away."

19. "Let the currents guide your heart."

20. "Happiness comes in waves."

21. "Let's go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean."

22. "My favorite color is sunset."

23. "I lost my heart to the sea."

24. "Sun, sand, and surf."

25. "Salt in the air. Sand in my hair."

26. "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." -Van Morrison

27. "High tides and good vibes."

28. "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes."

29. "Stop and smell the ocean."

30. "I'm happy anywhere I can see the ocean."

31. "Tropical state of mind."

32. "Forever chasing the sun."

33. "Girls just wanna have sun."

34. "Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." -Kellie Elmore

35. "Good times and tan lines."

36. "Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun-kissed hair, endless summer, take me there."

37. "The ocean is calling."

38. "Love you to the beach and back."

39. "Paradise found."

40. "Seas the day."

41. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. "Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat."

43. "I never met a sunset I didn't like."

44. "Beach daze always."

45. "Catch me by the sea."

46. "Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." -Zac Brown Band

47. "Stay salty."

48. "Done adulating- let's be mermaids."

49. "Find me under the palm trees."

50. "Sea you soon."

51. "Hello sunshine."

52. "Don't mind me... I'm just chasing the sun."

Cover Image Credit: Jakob Owens // Unsplash

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Putting Away Christmas

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