DENVER — It's the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year.
And so to help make sure you make the most of it, we've put together this guide to make sure you what to cook for Thanksgiving, the best places to celebrate the season and when to ship your gifts so they arrive on time.
Start making your plans now. From holiday markets to shopping and baking and wrapping, there's a lot going to around Colorado this holiday season.
This 9NEWS Holiday Guide will continue to grow through New Year's. We'll be adding helpful links, recipes and Colorado-specific winter season events throughout the season, so bookmark this page and check back often.
Getting the perfect gift for that special someone or the person in your family who is difficult to shop for can be stressful, but that doesn't mean picking out gifts can't be fun. Here are resources to help you navigate the holiday season in stores or online.
- Local holiday markets you can shop in-person, online
- New and unusual pandemic-proof games for holiday gift ideas
- Denver Christkindl Market returns for the holidays
- Target adds reservation system as part of holiday shopping safety measures
- Pandemic pushes start of holiday shopping earlier than ever
- Starbucks' 2020 holiday cups have arrived
Before you take your shopping list and check it twice, do you know the shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive on time for Christmas? Here are the USPS shipping deadlines to keep in mind if your want your package to be delivered before Dec. 25:
- USPS Retail Ground Service: Tuesday, Dec. 15
- First-Class Mail Service: Friday, Dec. 18
- Priority Mail Service: Saturday, Dec. 19
- Priority Mail Express Service: Wednesday, Dec. 23
- USPS encourages customers to send their holiday cards, gifts early
- USPS announces new holiday season stamps
While you're out grinding the shopping aisles trying to find the perfect gift or chowing down some delicious food, remember: Not everyone is as fortunate. The holidays are the perfect season for giving back.
9NEWS Parade of Lights
Although the traditional two-night 9NEWS Parade of Lights will not take place this year, the public will be able to view eight floats from the parade at locations throughout downtown Denver. The floats will be available for viewing for five weeks from Friday, Nov. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 31 at locations including Denver Pavilions and Denver Union Station.
9NEWS Parade of Lights mascot Major Waddles will also be ready to celebrate the season at these downtown locations with hot cocoa and treats.
The 16th Street Mall, Denver Union Station, Larimer Square and the Dairy Block will be decorated with holiday lights throughout the season. Downtown Denver’s major landmarks will light up during a Grand Illumination ceremony on Friday, Nov. 27.
Use the QR code below to download the free 9NEWS Parade of Lights app to unlock a map of the festive floats you know and love, sprinkled throughout Downtown Denver. March to the beat of your own drum and plan your Parade route quickly and easily with the exclusive app. Available for iOS and Android.
Show your fellow Coloradans the best lights in your neighborhood by uploading them to the "Near Me" section of the 9NEWS app. Your photos will be added to a statewide map highlighting the best places to see light displays around the state.
Even without annual live productions of "The Nutcracker" and "A Christmas Carol," there will still be opportunities to soak in the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season in Colorado.
- New light show opens at Denver Union Station
- Vail setting up a holiday display with more than a half million lights
- Mile High Tree returns to Denver
- Christmas movies exhibit at Gaylord Rockies
- Winter Wonderlights returns to Loveland
- PBS to air 'Nutcracker' performance from Colorado Ballet
- Christkindl Market returns in Denver
- Dillon Ice Castles returning with new COVID-19 rules
- 9NEWS Parade of Lights to be multi-week celebration
- Denver lights City and County Building
Holiday TV, movies & music
Would you rather spend your holiday season snuggled up under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate watching movies? Here's what will be on.
- Vote in 3rd annual 9NEWS Christmas Movie Bracket
- NBC's holiday lineup from 'It's a Wonderful Life' to 'The Grinch'
- KOSI 101 flips the switch to Christmas music
- NBC to air 'The Grinch' musical starring Matthew Morrison
- Freeform's '25 Days of Christmas' movie lineup
- Here's when to watch 40 new Hallmark Christmas movies this year
- PBS to air 'Nutcracker' performance from Colorado Ballet
- All Mariah Carey wants is you to enjoy her Christmas special
- 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' airs on 9NEWS
From Rockefeller Center and Washington, D.C. to Castle Rock and Kremmling, massive Christmas trees are a festive sign of the season.
In 2020, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested from western Colorado. The 55-foot tall Engelmann spruce harvested near Delta will arrive at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building on Friday, Nov. 20.
- Where and how to cut down your own Christmas tree in Colorado
- U.S. Capitol Christmas tree from Colorado lit
- U.S. Capitol Christmas tree arrives in Washington, D.C.
- U.S. Capitol Christmas tree tours across country
- Permits to be issued for Christmas tree cutting at Golden Gate Canyon
- 55-foot Christmas tree arrives at Outlets at Castle Rock
- Rockefeller the owl returns to wild after trip to New York City
- Colorado spruce harvested to serve as U.S. Capitol Christmas tree
- Engelmann spruce near Delta selected as U.S. Capitol Christmas tree
Food and recipes
Food is a favorite part of the Christmas season for everyone. Here are some must-try holiday recipes.
- Twice-baked potatoes
- German potato dumplings
- Green bean casserole
- Sweet potato casserole
- Cornbread pecan dressing
- Peppermint Oreo truffles
- Grammie’s Christmas Wreaths
- Biscochos, traditional Mexican cookies
- Easy Christmas tree pull-apart bread
- How to adjust your recipes if you're baking at altitude
- Tips for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey
- Easy, creative ideas to decorate cookies for Christmas
Like all things in 2020, Thanksgiving might be a little different this year. Thanksgiving arrives Thursday, Nov. 26 and you can still count on turkey, stuffing, 5K runs, football and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on 9NEWS.
- Tips for safely celebrating Thanksgiving amid COVID-19
- Tips for scaling down your favorite Thanksgiving recipes
- Here's your Thanksgiving Day lineup on 9NEWS
- Where to order Thanksgiving dinners to-go in Colorado
- Tips and tricks for cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey
- Where you can donate a turkey to help the Denver Rescue Mission
- Here are which stores are open, closed on Thanksgiving 2020
- Star-studded benefit concert to honor nurses on Thanksgiving
Whether you're looking for a full-time or part-time job, companies across Colorado are hiring for the busy holiday season. Do you know of a business hiring for the holidays? Share the job listing with us. Some of the companies hiring for the holidays in Colorado include:
- The Home Depot
- Bass Pro Shop/Cabela's
- Amazon reveals weeks-long Black Friday sale
- Walmart to spread out Black Friday deals
- Target plans Black Friday deals all November
- Best Buy's Black Friday ad, some early deals available now
- Home Depot's 2020 Black Friday ad
- Kohl's Black Friday ad with some deals starting now
The 9NEWS Holiday Guide is always a work in progress and we'll be adding helpful links, recipes, events and Colorado-specific Christmas-season events.
What would you like to see in our Holiday Guide? What part of the holidays in Colorado are you curious to know more about? Drop us a line.
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