By Mary Heyl

In the midst of the holiday season, most of our calendars are booked solid every weekend from now until New Year’s Day. Between parties and shopping trips, this time of year leaves little time for relaxation, much less the old fashioned, slower-paced holiday traditions of the past. For those looking to recapture the simpler, classic Christmas experience, a visit to the historic village of Randolph, New York is a must.

Randolph’s Country Christmas celebration takes place annually during the first weekend of December and is the perfect occasion to enjoy the small-town traditions that many grew up with. The weekend begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 with the Memory Tree Ceremony in Triangle Park, where friends and family gather to honor the memory of a loved one with a beautiful ornament. To obtain an ornament, contact the Randolph Municipal Building at (716) 358-9701 ext. 208. Festivities on Saturday, Dec. 6, begin with the delicious Mason’s Pancake Breakfast at the Randolph Fire Hall on Main Street from 7:30 -10:30 a.m. This is the perfect place for visitors and families to fuel up for a full day of Christmas festivities, starting with the eagerly anticipated Cookie House!

The mouth-watering tradition of the Cookie House is more than a place; it’s a destination for all lovers of Christmas goodies. Located in the Fellowship Hall of Randolph’s United Presbyterian Church at 186 Main Street, the Cookie House opens at 9:30 a.m. and visitors can build their own plate of homemade Christmas treats for only $5 per pound. According to Reverend Leslie Latham, the Cookie House is where parishioners present their very best confections; these are the tried and true Christmas cookie recipes that can’t be enjoyed anywhere else. Pick and choose from more than 25 varieties of goodies, and in doing so, eliminate some of your own holiday baking tasks. The Cookie House stays open until all of the cookies are gone, so make sure to stock up before the Christmas parade begins!

On Saturday at 11 a.m., Main Street will be alive with the Christmas parade, sponsored by Expressions Performing Arts Center of Randolph. This year’s theme is “Christmas in the Movies” and will celebrate the new and timeless holiday flicks we look forward to every year. The star of the parade, Mr. Santa Claus, will be waving to visitors from a horse-drawn carriage sponsored by the Community Foundation. Not only will parade-goers have a chance to meet Mr. Claus, but they can also enjoy a carriage ride themselves!

Follow the parade down Main Street to Randolph Central School, where the holiday craft show and rummage sale will be held from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. There, visitors can get one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts or find some gems in the cast-off treasures of the rummage sale. Continue shopping in downtown Randolph, where Main Street businesses will be participating in the Snowflake Walk, which is a “scavenger hunt” for the children. Locate the themed Christmas tree in the Main Street shops and get a little treat from each!

Saturday festivities culminate with the Living Nativity at East Randolph United Methodist Church at 122 Church Street. The main event on Sunday, December 7 is the Christmas and Toy Auction at the Randolph Fire Hall at 1 p.m., which is followed by a final presentation of the Living Nativity at 6 p.m.

There’s something for everyone to appreciate during this festive weekend, from food to crafts to shopping and more! For a memorable holiday weekend, enjoy Randolph’s Country Christmas and savor the history and charm of this beautiful village. Visit or find “Enjoy Randolph” on Facebook for details.