Chattanooga’s favorite holiday traditions

Christmas lights on the bridge. | Photo by Instagram user @earlwii

Good morning, Chattanooga. ☃️  Trista here. Since moving to Chattanooga, Christmas has looked a lot different. Growing up in the Asheville area, my family would always visit my grandparents’ house, shoot mistletoe out of a tree in their backyard, and bear meat was always on the Christmas dinner menu. Now, for the past two years (and since my grandparents passing), my parents + brother have traveled to Chattanooga for a small holiday gathering and a vegan meal at my sister’s house.

2017, the last Christmas with my grandma, right after my nephew was born. ❤️ | Photo by Stephan Pruitt

Earlier this month, we asked you to share your local traditions, and boy, have we loved reading all the responses

Here are some of the most unique and Chattanooga-centric stories and traditions we received:

🎁 Mike C. —  “As my daughters were growing up, we’d make ornaments at Ignis Glass and then go have pizza across the street at Lupis. We also would try to do Christmas lights at Rock City. Great times and the ornaments are wonderful keepsakes.”

Maggie T.’s gingerbread turkey

🎁 Maggie T. — “In the past, we made and decorated a gingerbread turkey — this was started by my sister in law. We usually head to Rock City to see the lights, and I’ll usually make batches of toffee to give away and make almond frosted sugar cookies.”

🎁 Katie K. — “Every year our family goes to MAINx24. We get biscuits and gravy at Main St Meats and doughnuts at Neidlovs. We’d watch the Christmas parade, sometimes we were in it. This year, no MAINx24 but we still had biscuits and gravy this morning.”

@ScenicCityVol’s daughter baking cookies with their aunt

 🎁 @ScenicCityVol — “Caroling with the Fishes at the @TNAquarium has always been a favorite. Then Christmas dinner at my aunt’s in Ridgeside that includes her famous super snappy gingerbread cookies. Newer tradition is my daughter going to bake them with her.”

🎁 Christine B. — “My kids and i celebrate St. Nicholas Day which kicks off our holiday season. I grew up celebrating St. Nicks in the Midwest so it is a tradition that reminds me of my family in Wisconsin.”

Christine B.’s kids celebrating St. Nicholas Day

🎁 Bonnie P. — “We used to go to a movie every Christmas Eve at Northgate Mall theatres & then go to eat at Formosa in Hixson. Formosa would give everyone a calendar as a present.”

🎁 Anju W. — “We always go see Bradley lights in Cleveland, TN as a start of our holiday season. Then listen to Cinnamon Bear each day leading up to Christmas. You can listen to the episodes on Spotify or Apple podcasts. The kids look forward to both activities.”

🎁 Mandy M. — “Going downtown to see EPB display and get hot chocolate!”

🎁 Jenny B. — “MAINX24 is usually our holiday kick off 😭😭😭😭”

🎁 “Decorating my granny’s Christmas tree with ornaments we made as children”

🎁 Sarah M. — “I make a lot of candy – fudge, peanut brittle, candied Orange peels – it’s a tradition from my great grandmother, and I use a lot of her recipes.”