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The definition of Christmas is different for all walks of life and all ages. Some find the memories built together enjoying fun events most rewarding, while others enjoy being at home spending time with the ones they love most. Any way a person decides to pass the time, this holiday season is valued for its traditions and heartfelt cheer spread among friends and family.

From decorating cookies, to reading “A Night Before Christmas,” this time of year is exactly what each of us choose to make it. So we asked people all around the valley about what they find the most memorable each year or what tradition they have to have in order to make their Christmas holiday complete.

“My favorite Christmas tradition started a few years ago when our family decided we didn’t want to make dinner; so, we went in search of an open restaurant on Christmas day, finding the only thing open was a Chinese restaurant,” said Carey Lee of Buena Vista. “We have been going back to the same restaurant ever since, and Christmas just wouldn’t feel compete without a fortune cookie and friendly greeting that only that Chinese hostess can give!”

“Our family enjoys horseback riding in the snow,” said T. Edwards of Salida. “On Christmas Eve we usually hit up the same trail ride and pack some snacks and enjoy the afternoon together outside.”

“Watching A White Christmas while decorating my Christmas tree!” offered Marilyn Jackson, from Texas.

“The best part of Christmas is decorating, baking, and giving gifts to expectant people,” said Gayle Green, of Buena Vista, “And of course being with family and our family of friends.”

“Our favorite Christmas tradition is going to the outdoor skating rink in Leadville,” said Candace and Grant Bryans, of Buena Vista. “We go skate for a few hours then go the Tennessee Pass Café.”

“We have chili every year for Christmas Eve, and then we love leaving food for the reindeer (which is glitter and oatmeal), so Santa and his sleigh can find us,” said Lauren McDonald of Salida>

“Our favorite family tradition for Christmas is going to the movies in the afternoon once we have opened all the gifts and had our big meal,” offered Adam Becker of Denver. “It is the perfect way to end the day!”

“My favorite Christmas tradition are the stocking letters our family does,” offered Kraig Brown. “Each year we draw names to see who we get and then we leave a ‘love note’ in that person’s stocking. It is always the last thing I open for Christmas and I now have a box full of memories with those letters.”

On a personal note, for the past seven years, my husband and I look forward to one tradition the most and that is getting a tree permit from the Forest Service, grabbing a bottle of champagne, and taking the dog to find the perfect Christmas tree. There is something about being able to hike behind our house and spend the afternoon chopping down and decorating our tree every year at the beginning of December. It is some of my fondest memories together.”