Here’s a list of Living Fort Wayne’s Top Picks for Non-Traditional Holiday Traditions! Enjoy!
Jade Kelsey – Partnership Development Co-Chair
Last year, I joined some friends who had established a tradition of a nighttime downtown run (3ish miles), to end precisely in front of the Santa during the lighting ceremony. I thought it was very cool (and a little cold 🙂 )
Lynn Altevogt – Editorial Chair
For the past few years, my friends and I have gathered everyone together for a weekend in November for a festivity that we have affectionately dubbed “Friendsgiving.” We try to plan it out in advance so that our friends that live out of town can join in on the fun. Basically, we just divvy up all of the responsibilities so that everyone brings a dish or a drink and then we share everything! It’s a fun way to celebrate a holiday that’s typically reserved for family with all of our friends. We eat way too much food, have a little (or a lot of) wine, play games, and revel in the fact that we can successfully cook a turkey.
Becca Bell – Contributing Writer
I live in less square footage than is appropriate for hosting gatherings. Luckily, I have cool friends — and my favorite traditions are my friends’ holiday parties. Unlike other (obligatory) seasonal shindigs, these events don’t require biting my tongue through a political discussion or trying to remember everyone’s spouses’ names.
To help us all unwind after hours of “quality family time,” I have a friend who hosts a “PTSD” gathering (an appropriate acronym for Post-Turkey Superfluous Drinking). This year, a few other friends are hosting a Boxing Day Brunch carry-in — with a strict pajamas-only uniform. (Because honestly, who wants to wear real clothes on Dec. 26th?)
Beside the non-traditional gatherings, I also love the festive December races. The Ugly Sweater Run lets you wear your holiday worst for a fun, uncompetitive jog downtown. For more “serious” runners, the Gingerbread Pursuit lets you make fresh tracks in a lovely morning snowfall (usually), and includes a freshly baked gingerbread cookie at the finish.
Emily Farmer – Street Team Chair
With 3 young kids who pick and choose what foods they like/don’t like on a daily basis, Thanksgiving can be stressful… especially after spending hours in the kitchen only to have the kids eat a peanut butter sandwich. Oddly enough, after all these years of cooking and entertaining, both my Mom and Mother-In-Law opted for a low-stress and no-mess Thanksgiving last year. So now our new annual “non-traditional” Thanksgiving consists of our families meeting at Cracker Barrel for lunch (where the kids can eat whatever their hearts desire), then we all go back to my Mom’s for games and movies. Just a fair warning: Cracker Barrel does not take reservations, and your full party must be present before they seat you. At least that’s how it went down last year. Either way, it was surprisingly not too busy and a great alternative to forcing turkey and dressing down my kids’ throats (Ha!)