The holiday season is here! With Utica, Rome, and the surrounding area offering so much during this time of the year, it's hard NOT to get into the holiday spirit.

Christmas tree and fireplace

Central New York has a lot to brag about compared to the rest of the country - Our food, our scenic landscape, our way of life... We can brag about pretty much everything. So it's no surprise that the holiday season in this area is something worth bragging about, as well. Here's the 7 best things about celebrating Christmas and the holiday season in Central New York:

 1 - You Don't Have to Travel Far for Holiday Shopping

With Sangertown Mall and all the other shops and businesses on Commercial Drive just a few minutes away, you don't have to drive all day to get your Christmas shopping done.

2 - Everyone is Getting into the Holiday Spirit

Even the crankiest of people seem to be in a little better mood this time of the year, and you'll notice it, too. Just head into the grocery store, walk down the street, whatever - People just get more cheerful during the Christmas season, especially in Central New York.
***This doesn't count if you go shopping a few days before Christmas, though. I don't know why, but that's when the angry and grumpy people seem to be out.

Christmas Tree and Presents From Wonderland of Lights 2014
Naomi Lynn/TSM

3 - The Wonderland of Lights

This really lets you know that the holiday season is here - The Wonderland of Lights is open in Utica! They're even going to be open on Christmas night this year, so you can drive through and see all the amazing lights after your Christmas celebrations.

4 - All the Christmas Music

Sure, you can hear Christmas music anywhere in the country, but where can you hear songs like 'Christmas in the Mohawk Valley,' and 'Dominick the Donkey?' That's right, you're only going to find songs like this in Central New York. And for the rest of the holiday favorites? Well, Lite 98.7 has you covered - We are your Christmas Music Station after all.

5 - Unique Holiday Snacks and Treats

Utica, Rome, and the surrounding area is known for having a variety of unique foods, and this is especially true during the holiday season. If you're looking for something sweet, right from this area, maybe pick up some turkey joints from Nora's in Rome. You could also stop by the bakery in Hannaford and get some freshly baked holiday goods.

It's not just about the holiday foods, either. Utica Coffee Roasting Company always has their flavored coffees and specialty drinks. Maybe try gingerbread biscotti to get you into that holiday spirit.

6 - Christmas Lights and Decorations are Going Up

You've probably noticed it driving around in the evening - A lot of the houses and buildings have put up their Christmas lights and decorations. Plus, some of the city parks in this area have decorations up - putting lights on the gazebos, having light displays of Santa and his reindeer, and what not.

The Rome Capitol Theatre Sign
Naomi Lynn/TSM

7 - Christmas Shows and Things to Do

With the Stanley Theatre, the AUD, the Rome Capitol Theatre, Turning Stone Resort Casino - There's tons of places to catch a holiday show, and there are A LOT of holiday shows going on. The Nutcracker is happening at the Rome Capitol Theatre this weekend, Kenny Rogers will be at Turning Stone for his Christmas show, Leon and Romy from America's Got Talent have their 'Magic Rocks - The Magic of Christmas' show happening at Turning Stone, as well... There's a lot of holiday shows coming to the area. If you're ever looking for something to do during the holidays, there you go - see a show at one of the many venues Central New York has to offer.




More From Lite 98.7