Hungry in Harrisburg: A community blog

Join recent transplant Joelle Shea as she discovers food in central Pennsylvania for the first time. Get information on the restaurants she tries, as well as recipes and cooking tips.

Central PA Christmas Traditions

Written by Joelle Shea, Community blogger | Dec 7, 2012 12:43 PM

The Holiday Season presents a whole new set of questions for us as newcomers to the area. In DC, we could visit the National Mall to see the Christmas tree, frequented Mount Vernon by Candlelight and knew which of our favorite restaurants would have special Christmastime offerings on their menu. 

But what should we do here in PA? We did stop by the lighting of the Christmas tree at the State Capitol this week (the picture above is from the snow machine) and friends have suggested the Candlelight House Tour in Harrisburg. Of course, we look forward to spending time with friends and family, with whom we have our own special traditions. My family shares the Feast of the 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve, and, as with most Italian families at this time of year, we will be baking many, many, many types of Christmas cookies.  

But later this month we will have some out-of-town guests to entertain, and I want to show them around our new community, so what should we know about Christmas in Central PA?

What do you do to mark the Christmas season in Central PA? Is there is a shop, festival or event that we shouldn't miss? Is there a special treat at a local restaurant or bakery that you've made part of your holiday season?

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  • Karen Waite McFadden img 2012-12-07 15:32

    As cheesy and commercial as it may be, Sweet Lights and Christmas Candy Lane are a standard for our family. Another annual Christmas tradition is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. It's not a holiday without a little head-banging classical music and some long hair tossed from side to side.

  • csw img 2012-12-07 16:03

    I would invite anyone during the holidays to visit Oxford Hall in New Cumberland. You will find a great selection of imported Holiday Foods From Ireland and Great Britain. Yummy Christmas Puddings, Mince Pies, Shortbread, Cadbury Chocolates and more. That along with all the beautiful sweaters, woolens and Celtic Jewelry makes it a must for holiday shopping. Plus while there check out the authentic Tea Shop for a proper pot of tea, lunch and dessert.

  • claudzilla5 img 2012-12-14 08:14

    Just spend a day in downtown Lancaster. Pick a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday so you can hit market, which is always so festive and warm this time of year. There are so many creative shops up and down the main streets around there, you'll be sure to find a last minute gift for someone on your list. The lights on the trees in Steinman Park on King St. are a little treat, and there is no end to the list of choices for a lunchtime stop, either.

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  • Mason img 2015-04-29 23:24

    I do love about reading such different customs people do follow in different part of the world, even if we are celebrating the same kind of festival. And the way which everyone celebrates it is so different that it make me wish that I was there with them to celebrate it.

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