I am usually one of those people who absolutely refuses to get into the Christmas spirit any sooner than December 1. This year, Mother Nature gifted us with snow the second week of November that sparked an early Christmas spirit fire in my heart. My husband and I bought a new Christmas tree before Thanksgiving and I put it up as soon as we got home, and he decorated our house outside with Christmas lights, which he didn’t have time to do last year. I brought the boxes of Christmas decorations up from the basement. And that’s about as far as we’ve gotten! (Edited to add: I finished the decorating in time for my family Christmas party this weekend December 14th, woot!)
As for celebrating the holiday season, that started up full swing the first weekend of December. There were 4 big events that have become a tradition for that weekend: my running club’s annual Pub Run, Dashing Through the Snow & Fire 5k, my sister’s family’s Christmas party and a night time Christmas run through the festive town of Frankenmuth with my running friends!
On Friday the 6th I joined my local running group for our annual pub run. Runners pay to run or run & drink, and the money raised goes to help local charities. We meet at the local YMCA then run and enjoy libations at 5 different bars.
The first bar is the furthest run, and it’s where the fun begins. At the second bar we get an awesome group picture in front of their mural. The third bar offers snacks and a game called Tippy Cup for anyone who wants to play. Bar number 4 usually sees us dancing and having a great ole time, and one of our runners generously buys pizza for the group. The last bar is actually owned by a couple of our runner friends and that’s where we really unwind and we get a yummy burger and fries for dinner!
This year was my second time doing the pub run and it was a lot of fun! We had a huge group (over 50 people) that dressed super festively running through the streets of Saginaw to the 5 different watering holes. We laughed, sang, and enjoyed libations all day. This year no one lost their car (that I know of) and nobody got sick (again… that I know of). We all had an awesome time!
The Dashing Through the Snow & Fire 5k was a new tradition that my best friend and I started last year. She was invited to my sister’s Christmas party, and I needed a race for December last year when I was still continuing my “run a race every month” streak. We found this little race that’s not too far from my sister’s house that started in the afternoon. The course itself isn’t anything particularly special, but it is a fun theme with guys on the course blasting fire from hot air balloon baskets! Last year Paula got 2nd in her age group and I got 3rd – this year we are in the same age group and ran the race together. Somehow I pulled off getting 3rd place again, even though we weren’t really racing hard, and Paula and I finished together.
After the race we headed to our hotel to get showered and ready for my sister’s party, which is lovingly called the “puppy party”. An event many years in the making, my sister hosts a Christmas party to get friends together and gather donations for her local humane society. Paula and I enjoyed the delicious homemade dinner, socialized with everyone for a while, then headed back to our hotel.
We have traveled a lot together and have gotten quite a variety of hotel rooms. They aren’t always the greatest. This time it was WONDERFUL! Our beds were comfy, the bathroom was nice, clean and had plenty of hot water, and the room was spacious. We both got a great night’s sleep and then ate a delicious breakfast at the hotel before we left. We both remarked what a great weekend it had been – the holiday season is in full swing!
Do you have any traditions that mark the beginning of the holiday season for you? How about fun festive races that you run? Tell me about them!