Christmas in Washington, DC

by Joaquin Hamilton-Garcia

Christmas in Washington DC

Christmas is one of the most beloved moments of the year for me. The leaves have changed and its past sweater weather. It is during these times where warmth is the most sought out, whether it be through hot chocolate, a fireplace with Christmas movies or through spending time with your loved ones.

Naturally, the cold from outside just brings us all together. Back in my hometown of Washington, DC you see the Halloween pumpkin patches turn into Christmas tree sales, selling trees of all heights and sizes, and accompanied by wreaths and pinecones.

By the Potomac River an ice-rink with views of neighbouring Virginia and the Kennedy centre opens up. It’s full of kids racing around the rink and couples trying to learn how to ice skate for the first time as Christmas music plays all day and night from the speakers.

In surrounding towns, Christmas parades take place. There are floats with Santa Claus and his cheery elves parading down the streets, each with its own twist, ranging from bagpipes to dog parades. Throughout the city Christmas decorations are put up everywhere. In the suburbs, lights are hung up, reindeers are put out and inflatable Santas are put up with neighbours all competing with one another. In downtown, the big buildings all have giant ribbons and wreaths hung up. The White House ships in a huge tree from across the country to light up and celebrate the festivities.

Back home, my family hangs up stockings and we decorate a tree of our own. We have a big Christmas Eve dinner with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, smoked ham, pecan pie and southern biscuits. My dad likes to make a fire in the fireplace, and we then watch Christmas movies, with some personal favourites being It’s a Wonderful Life’, the Home Alone series and Peanuts movies.

We put cookies and milk out and then stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve and when the clock strikes 12, we open our Christmas presents and wish each other a Merry Christmas! These moments define why I love and cherish the Christmas season.