Staff Share Their Winter Traditions

Winter Brings Many Cherished Traditions

Here in Colorado, we are very lucky to experience all four seasons in all their glory. Winter often comes with snow, skiing, specialized foods and more. The staff at Arapahoe Libraries were kind enough to share some of their winter traditions. Maybe they will inspire some new traditions with your loved ones or connect with others that have similar traditions to you.


My family used to go to the Denver Christkindlmarket every year growing up and I took my fiancé there a few years ago and now we have made it our tradition to always go (at least once), drink gluhwein and eat yummy food. -Mikaley O.


I also go to the Denver Christkindl Market every year! I am always taking old and new friends to experience the joy! -Tanya P.


Venti peppermint mocha and driving around the local neighborhoods looking at all the holiday lights and decorations. -Tim F.


We go tubing every winter. We try to go to a different spot each time. So far, Keystone is the best but you really can't go wrong with any spot. I think Echo Mountain is the closest to the Denver metro area. So much fun! -Siddra C.


Fun story, my grandfather started being one of the St. Nicholas at some of the events at the Denver Christkindlmarket last year and is doing it again this year for a handful of times! I did not get to go last year, but I am hoping to get the chance this year! He has always done Santa gigs, but now really enjoys doing these as well. -Jordan F.


My family bundles up in February and heads up to Mt. Princeton to sit in the hot water and just relax and disconnect from any wi-fi.... totally worth the drive! -Jen M.


My grandparents were the children of Russian German immigrants and grew up farming, and every Christmas Eve she would make us what she called "cabbage pockets," but they are also known as bierocks or runzas depending on what community you're in as they are a well known meal in Northern CO, Nebraska and South Dakota. -Kara S.


Love [cabbage pockets] and in Upper Michigan they are called 'Pasties' and they add potatoes. They were the original fast food for the copper miners and lumberjacks...brought there from the mining town in Cornwell, England. My son stocks up on runzas when they pass through a German community in Ks, they freeze well. -Mary B.


My family & I love attending the annual Snow Sculpting Festival in Breckenridge, seeing the creative sculptures from all over the world, windowing shopping down the main street, enjoying a hot breakfast and a finely curated Chai Tea Latte. A mixture of cold and warmth is a great way to celebrate Winter in Colorado! -Virginia C.


Every year I reread "A Christmas Carol!" I alternate between the ebook and the audiobook narrated by Tim Curry. -Ivy M.


A Christmas Carol


My family has so many winter traditions that it has intimidated some outsiders! A big one is every New Years Eve my mom, my sister, and I reread "The Night Before Christmas." We also make Slovakian nut rolls every year on my mom's side, and we make peanut butter balls on my dad's side. Truly the best and yummiest time of year. -Lizzie S.


The Night Before Christmas


Christmas day is for family, but every year, a bunch of friends get together for Christmas Eve Game Night! We have snacks and drinks and play things like Jackbox and round robin Dead or Alive (where the winner passes the controller), and board games like 7 Wonders or Bargain Quest. It's a ton of fun, and a great way to catch up and relax with friends during the craziness of the holiday season. -Hailey P.


My friends and I have a tradition of gathering for the holidays before family time that we like to call "Friends-mas," so it's wonderful to see chosen families being integrated into winter traditions for others as well!! -Maria D.


Every year on Christmas day, my husband and I get Chinese food and watch a newly-released movie! This will be our 8th year and counting. A few years ago he complained that there's nowhere around here to get a decent black and white cookie, so I started baking giant ones and now we've added that to the tradition as well! -Ashley R.


Eating Chinese food and watching movies is also my Christmas tradition! My family has a potluck on Christmas Eve, and then I get Christmas to myself, which I always love. I have movies I watch every holiday season, so likely will be watching one of the Harry Potter or LOTR movies, or I have recently added the John Wick series and Jumanji series (old and new) to holiday movie viewing season. -Zamara L.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


The Lord of the Rings


I have quite a large extended family that gathers every year for Christmas, and we're all musically inclined. My grandparents started the tradition of going caroling with their adult kids (before there were any grandkids) a couple of days before Christmas, and now our family has done that every year for about 50 years and we have a group of about 45 people and 4 generations! We do it in the small town where my grandpa still lives, and we add new houses to carol to every year. People request us to come by, or we might just surprise someone and drop in. Then afterward we go to a family member's house and have soups and chilis. It's such a fun and special tradition for all of us. -Heather S.


came out the same year my husband and I got married and we have have now watched it every Christmas Eve for the last 31 years and honestly we both believe it's the best version of the book! -Erin R.


The Muppet Christmas Carol


Laura B. and I observe the Winter Solstice together with our roommate Rachel. The Winter Solstice is our pagan new year, because it marks the point when the days begin to grow longer again. We start our celebration on Longnight, the night leading in to the solstice. Some years, we invite friends over to have a feast of bread, winter stews, and mulled wine. We light our fireplace and all of our candles and tend the fires through the long, dark night until dawn (or as late as we can stay awake). We also call on spirits and ancestors for protection and renewal. -Laura R.


We always kept our tree up for New Year's Day, because that was my mom's birthday. We'd put her birthday presents around the tree, and made it a Birthday Tree. We still do that in my family, as my daughter's birthday is also New Year's Day! -Cindy M.


Me and my family would play "Christmas Eve Gift" on Christmas Eve. You had to be the first to tell someone "Christmas Eve gift!" in person or by calling on the phone in order to earn bragging rights for the day. -Ashley S.

As I was growing up Christmas Eve dinner was always my dad's chili. As we got older we all realized that none of us liked it that much (sorry dad, but it was his dad's recipe and was kinda boring) so we switched to tamales, restaurant-bought, for Christmas eve. With chips and guacamole. -Mary K.


On Christmas Eve, my family gets together in the living room and we completely gorge ourselves on all sorts of goodies. Christmas cookies, chicken wing dip, brie and French bread, eggnog, Tom and Jerrys, lots of wine, homemade Chex mix, and a snack that we call "pepperoni things". And all of this after we have eaten our fill of Chinese food! -Mollie L.


We always drive around to look at the neighborhood lights! We'll do research before hand to see what neighborhoods really take Christmas decor seriously and look at all the pretty houses until we find the grand finale (a.k.a. the house you can tune your radio to and sync to its musical show!) -Angel R.


Traditional Christmas Eve dinner for Italian Immigrant households is a Feast of Seven Fishes. We would generally eat an early dinner of seafood, go to "Family Mass" at Catholic Church which was around 6pm, then spend the evening with family, which included my uncle reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Family was that visiting on Christmas Eve would generally exchange gifts then as well, Christmas morning was for "Santa's gifts." -Mariann G.


'Twas the Night Before Christmas