Since settling into your new home in Knightdale at the Knightdale Station new home community, you have seen and been told of your share of local traditions. Of all the seasons and all the holidays though, there may be none with as many traditions for NC residents as at the current time of year, surrounding Christmas. Thus, in this post, we will look at several unique, and what some may say are wacky North Carolina Holiday Traditions.
Now, don’t get us wrong, the many traditions and dedication to upholding them are one of the many endearing things and qualities of North Carolinians. Consequently, when we say “unique” or “wacky,” we mean that in a very positive way. Sure, everyone outs up a tree and hangs a wreath each year for Christmas and if that’s the extent of your traditions, that is fine. But, for many across the “Tar Heel State,” some or all of our North Carolina Holiday Traditions are a huge part of making a special time of year even more personal and special.
North Carolina Holiday Traditions: The Events We Must Attend
Once again, lets quickly preface the Christmas rituals that are to follow. Many, if not all of these activities and items are also enjoyed in many places outside of NC. However, in NC, when the calendar passes Thanksgiving, we see weeks that lead up to Christmas. This is when the North Carolina Holiday Traditions featured below take on a serious role in the holidays.
Driving the Whole Family Around Neighborhoods to Look at the Lights…or the Entire Town?!?
You know you did it, and you know you always wanted to do it. What, you may ask? Well, it’s simple, whether waiting for your father to get home from work and trying to talk him into it or actually having plans to visit a specific “known” lights display,” Christmas lights are a huge part of North Carolina Holiday Traditions. As were noted in our last blog post, there are actually many great holiday light displays set up annually just for the purpose of a “drive-thru” type display. Regardless if its drive-thru, driving by, or on foot, going to view colorful and creative light displays throughout the holiday season is an annual guarantee.
As if it couldn’t get any bigger a North Carolina Holiday Traditions than browsing through the amazingly lit neighborhoods and soaking in the twinkling lights. It can. You see, another North Carolina Holiday Tradition goes just a step beyond going through a neighborhood or two to see the lights. This tradition is a visit to what is known as “Christmas Town, USA.” Yes, that is a real town. Known most of the year as McAdenville, this place literally transforms into the perfect “winter wonderland.” What once seemed to be a bit of a secret has slowly become an annual destination for those big on the North Carolina Holiday Traditions. From the looks of the glistening lights and the faint sounds of carols, it seems they thrive in being just that.
Strange Traditions Brought in from Elsewhere
Now just because it has been adopted among North Carolina Holiday Traditions, doesn’t mean it necessarily started there. This would be the case with our next two North Carolina Holiday Traditions. Neither originated here in the U.S., however, both have certainly been adopted and enjoyed come holiday time in NC.
They’ve grown to become a major part of North Carolina Holiday Traditions. No, they aren’t the freshest or right out of the oven. It seems whether you like them or not, once you’ve had a taste of these crispy wafers in a variety of flavors, they are just good enough to be really hard to put down. Now, Moravian Cookies are not the only part of Moravian culture tied in with the Christmas season. However, given that it’s Christmas time, its undeniable that these cookies are North Carolina Holiday Traditions. Thus, why not give them a try? They could be a treat or they could be a gift. Regardless, the one thing they surely are is one of our wacky, North Carolina Holiday Traditions.
Once again, I’m fairly certain that when the name of the colorful and blinking lights that NC residents have been slathering all over is Spanish for a fleet, as in a fleet of ships. However, in modern times here in NC, especially around Christmas, you can drop the term flotilla, and everyone has a vision of the lighted and decorated, awesome boats that could lead to them becoming a tradition of your own.
Basically, the decorating of the boats each year is truly amazing. There is even a Wrightsville Beach Holiday Flotilla that kicks off the holiday season with the spectacularly lit boats. So, even though flotilla stems from the Spanish language, once we adapt and are open-minded, the awesome lighting up of the boats and ensuing parade around the water, leaves an impression from the beauty and yet another slightly odd North Carolina Holiday Tradition to in some way uphold.
More North Carolina Holiday Traditions: “We Can Do it by Ourselves”
For our final three North Carolina Holiday Traditions, residents of our state “do it themselves.” Not that these are “selfish acts, per see. But, they are contrary to the many holiday events we share as a community. Likewise each activity here is somewhat of a solo project.
Cutting Down our Own Christmas Tree
Once upon a time, I believe that cutting down one’s own Christmas tree was a holiday tradition everywhere. From the tallest of the pines to that poor, little tree that Charlie Brown and Linus “loved” back to life in the Peanuts annual holiday special, we all cut our own down. Well, somewhere along the way, tradition or not, it appears most people basically got lazy or took the easier and less messy route of an artificial tree.
Not in North Carolina we didn’t. Loading up the family in the car all bundled up. Fully prepared with the correct saw that you will be taking the tree down with. Happily striding over as you’ve found the perfect tree. These are all Christmas memories and traditions that those with a “fake ” tree don’t get to enjoy. Now unlike the earlier referral to some traditions in NC being wacky, this North Carolina Holiday Tradition is one that can’t help reminding me of simpler times and the happiness of the holidays growing up. Ok…where’s my saw…
“Professionally” Built Gingerbread Houses
Yep, you are reading that headline right, and that is really a thing. After the initial surprise wears off, it’s not as though every single person is going “architect” on making amazing gingerbread home neighborhoods. However, some NC natives do. Likewise, for those who have these skills and do compete and consider this among their North Carolina Holiday Traditions, I must admit, they are incredibly impressive work when done.
The most famous display of these incredible homes is by the Grove Park in Asheville. This is where the National Gingerbread House Competition takes place…(yes, that is a thing, too.) The competition is fierce each Christmas season, and winning homes stay on display throughout December. In all honesty, these gingerbread homes are more often than not true works of art. All things considered, call it a “wacky” tradition if you will. But it’s still a pretty cool activity to close out our list of North Carolina Holiday Traditions.
North Carolina Holiday Traditions: You Could be Next!
So, sure these North Carolina Holiday Traditions, may not be the most conventional. Likewise, they may not come from a family that even has any holiday traditions what so ever. But call them quirky if you want. Say they are odd if you’d like to. But don’t knock the North Carolina Holiday Traditions. Just because you don’t practice them, give it some time, who knows, you just might.
For more information on the Knightdale Station new home community, visit knightdalestation.com.