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Visit Lake Lanier for a little holiday magic


November 30, 2017

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One of my favorite Christmas songs is “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and this is actually the first year I won’t be. I’ve always had a nostalgic view of the holidays. November 1 hits and I put my Norman Rockwell glasses on, looking forward to crackling fireplaces and special desserts and rooms full to bursting with all of the people I love. I’ve outgrown the matching pajamas on Christmas morning but I hope I never outgrow having coffee with my grandparents after all the gifts have been shared or pretending to be annoyed at my dad as he protests for at least the 22nd year in a row that he doesn’t want anything for Christmas this year. The holidays are about the traditions we celebrate and the people we share them with. I could spend whole pages telling stories about how we’ve done a Charles Wysocki puzzle every year since I can remember or about the time my grandfather’s notoriously blazing fire created a backdraft that filled the whole living room with smoke.

One of my favorite Christmas memories, something we quit doing for whatever reason by the time I got into high school, was visiting the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier. I suppose that’s why I remember it with such fondness as something that was, well, magical. I remember driving through a tunnel of glittering icicles standing head and shoulders above the sunroof and feeling like I was flying. I found myself mesmerized by the lights glinting through the trees and glittering off the water. It truly is a beautiful thing to behold on a crisp winter night.

The Magical Nights of Lights is a 7-mile-long drive featuring millions of tiny lights meticulously choreographed to holiday songs. The displays feature scenes that I remember loving as a child like the Twelve Days of Christmas and Santa’s Workshop, along with new ones to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Magical Nights of Lights. The winding path through the trees terminates in the Holiday Village where families can roast marshmallows, get a picture with Santa Claus, and ride the beautifully lit Ferris wheel.

If you’re going to be in the Atlanta area for the holidays, give Lake Lanier a try. It might just be the start of a new tradition for you and your family.

The Magical Nights of Lights is open 5 to 10 pm every night Nov. 17 – Jan. 3. Tickets for vehicles of 10 passengers or less are $35.


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