Mint Hill’s Favorite Holiday Traditions

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“It feels right out of hallmark movie with a small town gathering, lots of holiday cheer and santa to end the night!” adds Brittany Morenus, whose daughter is pictured above in front of Mint Hill’s tree. This year’s tree lighting will take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday November 29.
A visit to Santa is a special part of many families’ holiday season. For many parents, Santa brings back memories of their own childhood Christmases. “As a kid we, used to go with my dad to go get ‘reindeer food,’ which was donut holes,” says Allison Towner, mom to Abigail (pictured above). “That was always a special trip with my dad. I want to start that with Ben to take the kids to do that. This will be the first year that I think Abigail will actually get the concept of Santa. Ben as a kid always had foot prints of ashes on the floor to make it look like Santa walked through.”
“I love going to a Santa now with Caleb,” says Kaitlyn Betts, mom to Caleb (pictured above). “It’s been wonderful to see how much he’s changed through the years with Santa. I make sure to visit one even if I don’t get a photo! The last one is last year where we finally got to sit in his lap and take a photo.”
Some Mint Hill residents go all out with their Christmas decorations! “Putting up 75,000 lights is a tradition here!” says Matt Schwoebel, whose home was featured on HGTV’s “All Out American Christmas” in 2011. Matt and his wife Lauren started the Mint Hill Christmas Light Contest last year.
Others enjoy an annual outing to look at Christmas displays. “My favorite things to do with family and friends is visiting the lights at Daniel Stowe Garden, Village Park in Kannapolis and the lights at the Speedway,” says Erica Larter, pictured with her family at the Speedway Lights. “My young children get so excited looking at all the decorations.”
Not everyone puts up 75,000 lights, but many people do find smaller ways to deck the halls. “At home we always put up the felt Christmas tree for the kids to decorate anyway they see fit,” says Lindsay Birmingham, mom of Colton (pictured above).
McAdenville and the Speedway Lights are popular destinations, but you don’t have to travel far away to see amazing Christmas lights. “We go see the ‘Griswold’ cul-de-sac in Apple Creek every year!” says Leslie Southerland. “It’s something else!” Sandy and “Whitey” Stevens’ home located in Apple Creek was the winner of the “Seen from Space” category of the first Mint Hill Christmas Light Contest last year.
Christmas services at Mint Hill’s local churches are an integral part of the season for many families. “There were several years that I refused to celebrate the Holidays just like the Grinch,” says Larter, pictured with her family at Arlington Church, “but now they bring me so much joy! I love attending Christmas Eve service at Arlington Church as a sweet reminder of why I celebrate.”
“Everyone one in our family (even the dogs) gets the same Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve and we take a family picture,” says Vintage on the Hill owner Pam Eggleston. “This particular year we all had in Norman Rockwell PJ’s.”
It’s not Christmas without the cookies! Jinna Bryant, mom to Skylar (pictured above), makes her grandma June’s special sugar cookies every Christmas. “We have made these since I was a little girl,” says Bryant. “Now I am doing this tradition with Skylar! She loves to put the frosting & goodies on top.”
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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: