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At Home in New Orleans for the Holidays

December 2 2019 | Blog


For the first time in a very long time, my mother will be coming to New Orleans for Christmas. I’m so excited and really want her visit to be special so I’ve decorated the inn with evergreen garland, decked the halls and walls, and hung our stockings by the chimney with care. I’ve pulled out old family recipes for gingerbread cookies and cinnamon buns to fill the house with holiday aromas in hopes she’ll feel like she’s home for Christmas. Of course, we’ll stroll through the French Quarter to window shop and look at the decorations, and I look forward to sharing a Brandy Milk Punch or two at the Napoleon House-- but I also want to turn her on to some of the local Christmas traditions that I’ve adopted as my own and have enjoyed for the past 25 years. I'm sure Christmas is great in the rest of the country, but she has no idea of the unique holiday magic that awaits her here in New Orleans. For instance, she’s never been caroling in the square or experienced a Reveillon dinner. She’s never seen the bonfires along the levee or the dazzling lights of Celebration in the Oaks. There are so many wonderful things to do! Here are some of my absolute favorites:

Christmas Eve Bonfires — On December 24, bonfires will illuminate the levees on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. This is a Christmas tradition that likely dates back centuries; for more information on where to find the bonfires, contact your innkeeper.

Jackson Square caroling — Every year, the Patio Planters organization pulls together a choral extravaganza in Jackson Square, located at the heart of the historical French Quarter. Hundreds of candles illuminate the square as the annual caroling event renews itself. Song sheets and candles will be provided; the gates open at 6:30 p.m. and singing starts at 7 p.m., but we highly suggest you arrive early, as this is a very popular event (held on December 22 this year).

Holiday Concerts at St. Augustine Church — One of the city’s oldest African American churches, located in heart of the historic Tremé neighborhood, the gorgeous St. Augustine Church will host a few holiday concerts throughout the month of December. Feel the spirit at this intimate congregation, and enjoy music in the fantastic interior of this cornerstone of local heritage.

For more information about everything Holiday in New Orleans, head over to HolidayNewOrleans.com.

Happy, happy holidays from our family to yours!

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