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Holiday Nights

We've heard a lot of people say that Christmas is for children, but we don't think it necessarily has to be all for them. In fact, there are some parts of Christmas that ought to be kept for adults only, watching Christmas Vacation, for instance, or drinking eggnog with rum in it. Spending an evening in the dark, freezing cold at Greenfield Village's Holiday Nights festival is another tradition that is probably best left to an all adult crowd, or at least a sans toddler crowd (a truth we found out the hard way two years ago).

Last year, after our first failed attempt the year previously, we found friends who, thankfully, love the cold just as much as we do. Or maybe it's more that they enjoy good company, if we can so call ourselves, and a healthy dose of Christmas past. Either way, we had such a blast on our frigid evening last year that we decided to try again this year.

This year was possibly even better. The weather was significantly warmer, and we weren't feeling the rush to get home because our respective toddlers were spending the night with their respective grandparents. So we casually strolled the decorated streets of the village, enjoying Christmas greetings from everyone we passed while munching on roasted chestnuts pulled from the warm paper bags we bought at a nearby street vendor. We stopped in to chat with the tin smith, then the woman running the printing press. We watched them blow glass, and endured a short lesson in the school house. And you can't have a Holiday Nights evening without a hot drink and a few slices of hobo bread.

I don't know if fireworks were a part of Christmases past or not, somehow I doubt it, but they capped off the evening with a group sing in the center of town and a short display over the little lake. It was, really, a perfect and relaxing evening. The fact that we were, shortly thereafter, summoned home to retrieve our little boy, who was suffering from the nighttime discomforts of his first serious cold in his lifetime, did little to dampen the evening's spirits. It turned out to be a good thing that we headed home when we did, since the existing drizzle turned to ice when we were still 15 minutes shy of exiting the expressway, a weather anomaly that was likely to have only gotten worse had we waited the extra hour intended. It's wonderful when things just work out well.

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