Elevated Living Blog

Broker Holiday Traditions in the Roaring Fork Valley

Posted on December 13, 2021 by Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but there’s a reason why visitors travel from around the world to the Roaring Fork Valley in December. From the epic ski conditions to the holiday festivities in town, the Valley is at its peak during the month of December. We asked our brokers and staff to share their favorite way to celebrate the holidays in the Valley, from Christmas tree cutting to cross country skiing, here are a handful of unique holiday traditions celebrated by Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty’s Broker Associates. 


Eye On the Prize

“Every year we get a permit to cut down a Christmas tree in the forest. We try to pick different areas to explore and hunt for the perfect tree. Some favorite spots are Ashcroft, Basalt Mountain, and the Frying Pan. We go out as a family with our kids and dogs and pack up a picnic basket and head out to chop down the perfect tree! It’s a wonderful Christmas tradition that we have been doing for years!” -Laurie Laing

 Laurie's husband and son hauling the best Christmas tree out of the forrest


Santa Clause is Coming to Town

“Growing up, my parents, Bill and Leah, used to dress up as Santa Claus and would tell our neighbors, friends, and clients with little children to look out the window at a certain time so they would see Mr. and Mrs. Claus traveling through the snow. They would drive through every neighborhood in Snowmass (i.e. Fox Run , Divide, Crossings, Horse Ranch, Ridge, etc.) and would drop off presents at the front door. This tradition has been passed down from my dad to me and Leah drives me around while I pretend to be Santa.” -Walker Moriarty

Santa Clause (aka Walker Moriarty) with a little neighbor 


From Africa to Aspen

 “Our family tradition is to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, as that is what my husband's family did in South Africa. We go to the hot springs, either Avalanche Ranch or Iron Mountain Hot Springs, and then we follow up our soak with dinner at either Hotel Colorado or Redstone Inn. We then travel upvalley for a holiday brunch and gift exchange with my family.” -Shannon Francis

Shannon Francis with her husband and their son


Outdoor Adventures Worth Celebrating

“After cutting down our tree we have a bonfire and listen to the Broncos game prior to heading to Woody Creek Tavern for a late lunch. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) Winter Solstice Bonfire is another annual tradition with our family. We usually sled on the Snowmass Golf course on Christmas Day after a great morning of coffee cake, my wife’s famous egg soufflé and opening stockings and gifts together. A few family snowboarding sessions are another regular holiday activity, as well as some evening uphill skins and New Year’s Eve on the backside of Ajax with fondue, dark chocolate and bubbly with friends to celebrate and reflect on the past year and bring in a new one!” -Chris Klug

Chris Klug and his family cutting their Christmas Tree


A Peruvian-American Feast

“We have a Christmas celebration that lasts two days in my family! In Peru, where I am originally from, we have a large, fancy Christmas dinner on December 24th with all the family. After dinner we drink cocktails and talk until midnight when we celebrate the birth of Jesus by placing him in his crib and reciting a short prayer. Then we open all the gifts from the family! Traditionally in Peru, there are fireworks at midnight, and some will also go to mass then!  Since my husband is American, we wake up on the 25th to find Santa's gifts under the tree. Everyone, including the adults, gets a gift from Santa. Sometimes we will drive up to Sunlight Mountain Resort to snowshoe. Then we all have a laid-back day until dinner when we once again have a fancy Christmas dinner.” -Giovanna Kennedy

 Giovanna Kennedy's dining table set for Christmas dinner


12 Days of Aspen

“We’ve been enjoying the 12 days of Aspen since they started the tradition a few years back. To celebrate the holiday season, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association hosts the 12 Days of Aspen, which includes activities ranging from holiday crafting, caroling, visits with Santa, and even a cabaret dinner.” -Valerie Forbes


Carolers singing on the Snowmass Mall, photo courtesy of Aspen Times


Jingle Bells All the Way

“Every year that we have our entire family in town, we do one evening between Christmas and New Years at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. We have traditionally opted to cross country ski to the restaurant. We bring along a bottle of champagne that we pop in the meadow on our way to dinner to celebrate our family and the new year. In the past couple of years some of us have also started taking the horse drawn sleigh to dinner now that we have a 3-year-old in the mix and more to come.” -Wylie Melberg

 Wylie Melberg with his wife and their baby


Picture Perfect Holiday Lights

“We always enjoy the time together as a family to go out into the wilderness and cut down a big Christmas tree. Always lots of laughs and typically some kind of mishap that remains in our annual memories. Our house is also known in Basalt because of all of the holiday lights we put up every year. Many people come to see the lights, take pictures and enjoy the festive feeling it brings.” Becky Dombrowski 

 Becky Dombrowski's famous house lit up for the holidays, decorated by her husband and his staff


Categories: aspen | Holiday | Local Culture


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