christmas eve in winter park

Posted on December 28th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »


We spent Christmas Eve in Winter Park, a little more than an hour from home.  It’s such a winter world there.  Although the elevation of the town is about like ours (a little over 9000 ft) , it’s much colder, with a lot more snow.  The mountains themselves are around 12,000 ft high. That’s where the air really gets thinnnnnnn. 😉


Winter Park is a ski town, and each Christmas Eve, a torchlit parade skis down from the mountain while hundreds of happy, excited people watch from around a roaring bonfire with cups of hot chocolate, chai, and…is that a beer? (gasp)


We got there around 1:30, walked around town, had lunch, and took the “cans” to the bonfire area to see the ski procession.


We used to be so freaked out swinging so high in the freezing wind; now we scarcely notice.  This was our fourth Christmas Eve in Winter Park.


Here we are at the bonfire.  Cash put on his underprivileged-and-abused-child face for the camera.  I know, because I used to do the same thing–to strangers driving behind our Subaru while I sat in the way back with my face pressed against the window (before seat belt laws).  Bet you didn’t know that, huh, Mimi?  I was so hurt when the people would laugh at me.  They were supposed to feel sorry, think I was being stolen, and hopefully call the cops.  No one ever did.


It was the 75th anniversary of the torchlit ski procession. Those are the skiers and snowboarders wending their way around the 75.  Behind them are the snowcats with colored lights.



Here comes good ol’ Santa in his sleigh!



Ta-da!  You can just see how much he loves basking in the glory of it.  It’s probably the high point of his whole year.



Zia watching from the wagon.  We always grab a wagon from one of the wagon stations, fill it with blankets, throw the kids in, and stick rock candy in their mouths to keep them happy.  Cash refused to sit in it this time, so I held him.


Our toes froze and our faces burned, as usual.  See that smile?  It’s fake.  Cash is like, What are YOU smiling about?


Ain’t nothin’ fake here.  And this ain’t a fashion show, either (he says when I ask him if my hair looks crazy).


We always look forward to Winter Park so much, and it really is so fun.  But at the end of all the festivities, after the mad race back to the can cabriolets amidst the throngs, the freezing, swaying ride back to the parking lot, piling into the frigid car and ripping off boots to massage icy feet, I always feel a sigh of relief.  I made it through another brutally cold Christmas Eve in Winter Park.  I lived through another evening of standing still in temperatures below 10F. 

And I stare in awe at the teenagers around me with jackets unzipped, t-shirts showing, no gloves.  I guess I’m just getting old, or maybe I need to grow a nice layer of fat to protect me.  I don’t mind the cold when I’m moving–I walk in the icy wind on our mountain all the time.  But just standing around?  Brrr.  I’m shivering just thinking about it.  Thank God for that bonfire!


It was lovely to come home to this.


And set a few things under our jade plant to surprise a couple of little redheads in the morning.

6 Responses to “christmas eve in winter park”

  1. Mimi says on :

    Beautiful pics!!!!….Papa and I really laughed about the David pic with the words “This ain’t no fashion show”…..very funny little quips you guys have……yeah, the Subaru…..wasn’t aware of your pouty faces in the car but soon as I saw Cash with “the” face I said, “Remember how Mia used to make that face around his age?” hahahaha! And we like your fake smile!

  2. Jennifer Miller says on :

    What a difference a week makes. We’ve been skiing there every FR while our daughter is in ski school and the snow has been terrible. We drove up on Christmas day to the in-laws house for Christmas dinner (between Fraser and Granby) and it took forever to get home because it was snowing so hard! It looks like a great time was had.

  3. mountain girl says on :

    Glad you like our “old married” humor–and I didn’t think about Cash acting like me, but that explains a lot…I’ll try to have more understanding for his mood swings now, lol.

  4. mountain girl says on :

    Oooh…we were SO happy for clear roads on the way to WP…the first time ever for us! Sorry you had to battle blizzards the very next day!

  5. Mom & Da says on :

    Hi honeeee…… You made us laugh so hard and made our hearts sing :). That pouty face was and is still made by Rich and Kayla and the DL look is always made by Grandpa sooooo a lot of Lucero there,too 🙂 🙂 🙂 have a wonderful day – we LOVE you so much – thanks for all the beautiful pix/mom

  6. mountain girl says on :

    Haha! We sure got the funny faces in our families!