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Holiday Traditions on the Emerald Coast

As we approach the holidays, the team at Premier Property Group (PPG) wants to be among the first to send you warm wishes for a memorable season.

Here in our coastal region, young and old, local and visitor will gather—overlooking the lack of snow and, in some cases, chimneys—to participate in traditions passed down  for generations.

The holiday experience simply transcends age. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that among four generations (i.e., Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials), the majority of Americans will:

  • Spend time with friends and family at gatherings
  • Put up a Christmas tree
  • Send holiday cards
  • Buy gifts for loved ones

Along the Emerald Coast, there is a perfect mix of traditional offerings as well as those that are uniquely ours. If you’re among those who are spending the holidays in our region, consider adding the following activities to your plans to bring together groups of all ages and keep them in the holiday spirit.

  1. Watch Christmas movies that span more than 70 years.

If you’re skeptical about the notion that Christmas has a bridging affect among generations, consider the list of movies we’ll likely watch this season.

  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
  • A Christmas Story (1983)
  • Elf (2003)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938, 1951, 1970, 1984, 1999, 2009, and even a version with a cartoon mouse)

For a local spin on Christmas entertainment, check out Seaside REP Theater’s Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) or Emerald Coast Theater Company’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

  1. Check out Holiday lights

First conceived by Thomas Edison in 1880, strands of holiday lights didn’t become mainstream until about 40 years later when a company started selling pre-assembled sets of lights to the public.

In 2018, the scale of decorations has grown larger and more grand, but Christmas lights remain an enduring tradition.

Along the Emerald Coast, check out Christmas Reflections in Defuniak Springs, the 32nd Holiday on the Harbor Destin Lighted Boat Parade, or 12 Nights of Light at Baytowne Wharf.

  1. Enjoy local offerings

Even in December, temperatures in our area hover between the mid-40s and the mid-60s, making it a perfect time to enjoy outdoor programming.

Carriage rides, farmer’s markets and outdoor concerts merge the warmth of the Emerald Coast with the traditions of the holiday season. For those who enjoy giving back to the community, numerous charity and benefit events are scheduled throughout the month of December.

In our area, check out the Moonlight Paddle at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, the Christmas Candlelight Tour and Open House at Eden Gardens, as well as numerous hurricane relief benefits scheduled in the area.

The holidays embody a unique ability to bring people together, and while the traditions may vary in style, they appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Create your perfect multi-generational holiday celebration this year in Northwest Florida.

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