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Holidays are Inn. Share the Tradition of Beloved B&Bs

By Mary White

Shopping for presents, viewing the holiday lights, partying with friends and families, or just relaxing by the fire -- these are timeless traditions we all love and share, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity because they symbolize one abiding hope --peace and good will among men. Perhaps no one is more aware of the importance of such traditions than the owners of our beloved B&Bs, whose inns are the very symbol (essence) of the cozy American hearth and home.

Do you want to book a room at one of thousands of inns that feature the traditions you know and love "or establish new ones along the way? Or give a Bed & Breakfast Gift Certificate as a holiday gift for family or friends so they can discover the magic of those traditions for themselves? If you or they are looking for an old-fashioned holiday atmosphere you might head north to New England. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina of Connecticut is just a few steps away from the old waterfront town of Niantic with its quaint shops, boardwalk and lighthouse. On December 11 Niantic sponsors an annual Light Parade. Nearby, too, are Christmas tree farms and historic Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. The Inn can arrange tickets for Seaport's unique Lantern Light tours guaranteed to bring you back into an earlier era.

Further north at the Riverbend Inn in New Hampshire's White Mountains are sleigh rides, fine shopping for candles, pewter and presents at nearby stores and the factory outlets of North Conway. If you have a sweet tooth, remember to look into the special package offered for the Mt. Washington Valley Inn to Inn Christmas Cookie and Candy Tour, December 10-11. Skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers often find the Riverbend Inn a perfect place to bunk down because of its proximity to North Conway's famous mountain resort, one of the oldest in the nation. After a busy day on the slopes or the shops, Riverbend Inn guests warm themselves by the fire while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or a hot toddy.

Tucked away in New Hampshire's White Mountains, is the "Currier and Ives town of Littleton with many shops and the Beal House Inn & Restaurant. Naturally, you're just minutes away from sleigh rides, alpine and cross-country skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing. You can also book the Inn for your whole family for one of the holiday weekends, including Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day Brunch. No reason to worry about New Hampshire's chill temperatures because the Inn's Common Room always has hot cider brewing in the afternoons and homemade cookies near the Inn's roaring fire.

For an old-time holiday in a romantic Midwestern setting, visit the Colonel Taylor Inn in southeast Ohio. A special Thanksgiving meal is served for guests in the dining room of this sumptuous high-ceilinged lodge. Santa hosts a special tea for the public on the first Sunday in December, - complete with sandwiches, fruit cheese nuts and fresh-baked pastries - but a similar tea is also served daily during holiday season for Inn guests, accompanied by Christmas music on the piano and a colorful array of carolers in Victorian dress.

Another way to light up your holidays is to visit northern Idaho's The Roosevelt in Coeur d"Alene, a historic redbrick inn with bell tower in a remodeled old schoolhouse. The lakeside community of Coeur d"Alene is known as Christmastown USA because of its snow, charming shops and decorations. The Roosevelt B&B is replete with tasteful garlands of fresh greens, holly and mistletoe and the entire building - including its bell tower - gleams with 270,000 lights. In case that's not dazzling enough, guests will enjoy the spectacular fireworks that burst over the Lake of Coeur d"Alene as well as an animated light show.

Crave a rest from the hustle and bustle of the holidays - but still need to buy presents for friends and family? A visit to either the Biscuit Hill Inn or Canyon Lake Ranch in the Texas hill country provides you with a chance to get away from it all. Both inns provide restful views of the hills; have wood-burning fireplaces, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. Holiday shoppers are only short distance from several historic towns, stores and the largest outlet mall west of the Mississippi. This year, Saturday December 3 the Hill Country Yacht Club sponsors their annual Parade of Lights on Canyon Lake, featuring 40 boats decorated with lights, along with jet skiers, party barges, a Santa and anything else that floats. Guests may book either Biscuit Hill or Canyon Lake individually or rent the inn entirely for their family during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays.

According to an old farming tradition of Provence, France each dinner of the twelve nights of Christmas ended with a different desert. Today in Virginia's mountain-ringed Shenandoah's Valley, the romantic L"Auberge Provencale has maintained that mouth-watering French tradition for its guests by serving a dozen gourmet deserts every afternoon by the fireside on linens and pottery of bold yellow, blue, green and pink - the traditional colors of Provence. Surrounding this quaint country inn are views of the Blue-Ridge Mountains. Tourists will enjoy seeing its nearby historic homes, visiting its vineyards and fine antique shops.

The darkest time of the year may be at holiday season, but not at the Lodge at Sedona in Sedona, Arizona. At dusk, nestled beneath the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek, guests and visitors begin the cherished tradition of lighting six thousand luminaries in the courtyards and walkways in the village of Tiaquepaque while enjoying complimentary apple cider and holiday music. During the day, visitors enjoy browsing the distinctive Southwest shops found in Tiaquepaque, Sedona's famous Arts & Crafts Village. Added to the holiday fun are daily surprise visits from Santa, performances by carolers, musicians and dancers -- Mexican style, of course.

Wherever you decide to go and whatever style you choose to celebrate, don't forget that Bed & Breakfast Gift Certificates are the perfect holiday gift for friends and loved ones! They can be purchased for any length of time, for any time of year, can be used at over 1000 inns of the recipient's choice, and never go out of date.

Holiday traditions old and new! Your choice - they're up to you!

Information on all of the Bed & Breakfasts featured in this article and Bed & Breakfast Gift Certificate information can be found at

About The Author
Mary White is Founder of, a search directory that provides gift certificates and listings for thousands of B&Bs and Inns.

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