Looking for fun, meaningful Christmas activities in Raleigh, NC? Is it time to find some new holiday traditions for you or your family? We’ve got you covered! In this post, we have collected some of the best local Christmas season performances and attractions, some wonderful places to volunteer, and some of the favorite traditions of our own faculty and staff at GRACE Christian School! Whether you’re new to the area, or just looking for new things to try in town, we wish you a blessed Christmas season and a very happy New Year!
The Best Christmas Performances in Raleigh, NC
Even though it has already happened this year, Salem Baptist Church’s Journey Through Bethlehem event at the beginning of December is one you should plan attending next year.
The Carolina Ballet production of The Nutcracker is one of those performances you must see at least once in your life. A live symphony orchestra and the elaborate sets and costumes bring this timeless classic to unforgettable life each Christmas season.
The Summit Church Christmas services are coming up at the Durham Performing Arts Center. You can buy tickets for the dress rehearsal on December 22, as well as one of the three services on December 23rd, or two services on December 24.
The North Carolina Symphony performances this year include a Holiday Cirque de Noel Spectacular on December 21 and 22, and a Candlelit Christmas on December 23.
The Best Christmas Lights In and Around Raleigh, NC
The Lake Myra Christmas Lights Show celebrates 20 years of lighting up the season this Christmas. It’s a show unlike any other in the region in downtown Wendell, NC.
The Festival of Lights is definitely worth a drive to see in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Clemmons, NC, just outside of Winston-Salem. This remarkable light display draws visitors from all around. If you go, be sure to stop by the S’moresville station just outside the Gift Village!
The Meadow Lights display in nearby Benson, NC, claims to be the oldest and largest Christmas attraction in eastern North Carolina. Four trains roll through their 10 acres of displays, and drinks and Christmas candies are for sale.
Koka Booth Amphitheatre is home to the Chinese Lantern Festival this year. Live cultural performances are also a part of the 1/2 mile walking tour.
Where to Volunteer This Christmas in Raleigh, NC
Many of our local charities and support organizations need extra help around the holidays. If you’re looking to volunteer this season, try one of the following:
- The Salvation Army: They need bell ringers
- Raleigh Rescue Mission: Holiday meals and delivery; Care bags and blankets
- Church in the Woods: Care bags or blankets
- Thrift2Gift: Volunteers to cover store shifts
- Angel Tree Ministry: Gifts for children of those in prison
- The Dorcas Thrift Shop: Books, cashiers, sorters, outreach reception
- Hope Connection International: Help in their thrift store
The Best Christmas Tree Lots around Raleigh, NC
We LOVE the family-run business at Cary Pumpkins & Christmas Trees. Located at 1355 Buck Jones Road, Raleigh, NC 27518, you’ll find a warm welcome and help with your selection of fresh-cut-daily NC Frasier Fir trees. They also sell wreaths, crosses, and candy cane decorations made from branches.
You’ll also find great trees at Quality Evergreens at the NC State Farmers Market. They are a third-generation West Jefferson, Ashe County NC tree business. One of our GRACE faculty says: “We have bought from them for 18 years, and when we take the tree down on January 1, it is as fresh as when we bought it!”
How We Have Been Celebrating Christmas at GRACE Christian School
Our students, faculty, and staff have all been celebrating the coming Christmas season.
- GRACE art classes have been making ornaments, cookies, snowflakes, glass-fused dishes, clay nativity sets, and lots of Christmas-themed artwork.
- The school decorations all over campus are focused on the Christmas story and Jesus as we all prepare to celebrate Emmanuel.
- The seniors spent a day working at the Operation Christmas Child processing plant in Charlotte, helping get Christmas Shoeboxes ready for distribution.
- Our lower campus Christmas store has given our younger students the chance to find gifts for their parents.
- We’ve had many Christmas concerts and programs on campus and in the local area.
- The Student Council serves breakfast for their fellow students on exam days and plans Christmas parties for their grades.
- Spanish classes have been learning carols in Spanish and watching Christmas specials from different countries.
- GRACE participated in local parades with Christ and nativity scene floats.
How GRACE Faculty and Staff Keep Christmas
We asked our faculty and staff at GRACE Christian School how they celebrate Christmas, and this is some of what we heard back!
- “We have a Jesse Tree that we use during Advent to retell the stories of the Bible that lead to Jesus’ birth. Each night in December we read scripture and pray relative to the ornament and Biblical passage for that day.”
- “After opening stockings and gifts on Christmas morning, we have a family brunch together.”
- “We join with a former GRACE family and pile in one car. We drive through the Ephesus Baptist Live Nativity. Then we go out for a dinner together.”
- “On Christmas morning before gifts, we celebrate Jesus birthday by doing a special breakfast with 3 large pancakes (Father, Son, and Spirit), pour over it red juice (blood), whip cream (white as snow) and light a candle (light of the world). As each of the items are added a scripture is read that goes with the item. At the end, we sing Happy Birthday and then we eat!”
- “We watch The Grinch and drink homemade hot chocolate while we decorate the tree and our house.”
- We read Jotham’s Journey each night through Advent. You are following Joshua for over 23 nights, and at the end of the book he ends up at the manger with the shepherds worshipping baby Jesus. It is sort of written as a mystery adventure so our kids always ask you to read more, but no! We only read one night’s worth!”
- “After going to church on Christmas Eve, we celebrate a French Canadian tradition called “Réveillon” where we each open one gift and eat a light meal after midnight. There are specific dishes served for this meal, including a “Bûche de Noël” (Christmas log).”
- “Each (extended) family member chooses a favorite song from the year. Each person takes a turn playing it and explaining why the song is so special to them. Sometimes the song is performed by the individual.”
- “I bake sugar cookies that are cut into shapes for Christmas. Then, my husband and daughters decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.”
- “We have an empty wrapped box under the tree for Jesus and we pass it around telling Jesus what we each would like to give him this year for His Birthday.”
Have we missed any of your favorites that other people need to know about? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you! We hope it is a warm and wonderful Christmas for you and your family. Everyone at GRACE Christian School is grateful to be your neighbor, and we look forward to serving our students and families in the new year.
If you’re looking for a great Christian education for your child, we have so much we’d like to share with you. Have a look at Start Smart, our free e-book, to learn more.