Families plan Christmas outings in Vail | VailDaily.com

Families plan Christmas outings in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – For many people visiting Vail, Christmas is all about family bonding.

That’s the case for David Elliot and his daughter, Julia Dixon, who are staying with family in Dixon’s Minturn home over Christmas.

The whole family is originally from London and they’re planning a traditional English Christmas here.

That means cooking a turkey and sharing standard desserts such as Christmas pudding (Americans call it plum pudding) and a rich fruit cake Dixon cooked in London and brought here.

“It’s very traditional,” Elliot said. “You’ve read ‘Charles Dickens,’ haven’t you?”

The promises of snow and spending time with friends prompted Dixon to plan Christmas in Minturn and convince her family to come along.

For Patricia Willimon from Georgia, Christmas is about more than just Santa Claus. Staying in Avon with 22 family members, including 11 grandchildren, she tries to impress on those grandchildren that Christmas is about honoring Jesus’ birth. Her family attends a Christmas Eve service with grandchildren in tow.

“Their favorite thing is lighting the candles at the church service, so that’s special,” Willimon said.

Christmas will be a simple, but likely rewarding, day for Pam Crane from St. Louis, Mo., who is visiting Vail with family.

“We’re going to get up, take the dogs for a long walk, then we’re going to ski and share gifts after that” she said.

Around 4:30, the family will have what they fondly call “scotch and wine” time. They’ll top it all off by grilling steaks.

The Trankina family plans a similar day, complete with skiing and dinner at Mezzaluna in Lionshead. They’ve already had a Christmas surprise: Some members of the family met Pepi Gramshammer, of local hotel Gasthof Gramshammer fame.

The family is enjoying spending Christmas in Vail’s snowy atmosphere.

“It just reminds me of a European village,” Mary Ann Trankinia said.

This Christmas will be special for Hadley and Chris Thomas from Portland, Ore., who are sharing it with their 13-month-old son, Xander. Last year, he was too little to be conscious of Christmas but this year, he’s old enough to be interested in his presents. Xander is spending time with his grandpa, Don Cameron, who lives in Edwards and looks forward to pulling his grandson in a toboggan.

“Total enjoyment,” he said.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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