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Christmas New Orleans Style

Louisiana has many unique sites and interesting places to visit. Yvonne enjoys sharing her knowledge of local history, customs and events.

A traditional Christmas tree at my in-laws in New Orleans in the 1980's. Dottie loved to decorate and celebrate the holiday season.

A traditional Christmas tree at my in-laws in New Orleans in the 1980's. Dottie loved to decorate and celebrate the holiday season.

Louisiana Holiday Traditions


Every part of the world has it's Holiday Traditions. But for post Katrina New Orleans, LA, many of these traditions are just fond memories. For many native New Orleanians a part of their history was washed away on that famous day in late August, 2005.

My husband was born in New Orleans and I have family roots there, too. Together, with this lens, we hope to bring back some of the memories of those Christmases past. You'll find Celebration in the Oaks, Fires on the Levee, Benny Grunch, holiday foods and also links to plenty of Louisiana products and food baskets (including Mr. Bingle) that would make unique holiday gifts.

New Orleans Christmas Memories

Let us go back to the 1950s through the 1980s when life was simple and the songs were about love in this great city on the Mississippi River. Christmas was a magical time and Canal Street was the center of that magic. Stores like Goudchaux's and Maison Blanche decked out their windows with colorful displays. Mr. Bingle, the funny little snowman with the ice cream cone hat was on every child's mind. Christmas dinner was a true feast, with several generations of families in attendance. My husband's Mother was Italian and Irish and the feasts that she prepared would put some chefs to shame.

There was something magical about Christmas in New Orleans. Whether it was the lighting displays in the park and later in the 1990s at the home of Al Copeland (Popeye's Chicken), the Christmas on the Bayou boat parade or the bonfires on the levee, the multicultural population made the Holiday celebration exceptional.

Al Copeland's Famous Christmas Light Display

To see more pictures of the fantastic light display click on the link to nola.com's photo archives.

To see more pictures of the fantastic light display click on the link to nola.com's photo archives.

The lovely lights in City Park.

Celebration in the Oaks

New Orleans City Park

Some of the popular events of Christmas in the Oaks include: T-Rex, the popular raptors. These are part of the Dinobration exhibit, a crowd favorite since 2003. Also new are the Very Merry Maze, a dancing light show, and a snow machine that will keep Mr. Bingle chilled with hourly snow showers. Of course, the fabled Carousel will be operational, complete with new lighting and music, and the train will take patrons on an enchanted journey highlighted by an electrifying light display along City Park Avenue. A rich tradition is New Orleans' signature, and nowhere is that tradition more evident than during the Christmas season at Celebration in the Oaks. Join us as we continue to rebuild our great city and share in the joy and spirit of our 24th annual Celebration.

More about Celebration in the Oaks

Good Food - Holiday Feast

The delicious holiday dinner menu that Dottie Bordelon usually prepared.

Roasted Turkey or Baked Ham

Oyster Dressing

Stuffed Mirlitons

Cranberry Sauce

Sweet Potatoes (with little marshmallows on top)

Scroll to Continue

Italian Salad

Twisted Italian Bread with poppy seeds (Usually from Gambino's Bakery.)

Bread Pudding


Mr. Bingle YouTube Vid

Fleur de Guardian

Many Christmas trees are decorated with black and gold Fleur de lis ornaments such as this Fleur de Guardian one.

Many Christmas trees are decorated with black and gold Fleur de lis ornaments such as this Fleur de Guardian one.

Benny Grunch's 12 Yats of Christmas Video

New Orleans, a Unique City

New Orleans is unique to say the least. This primarily Catholic city has been a melting pot for many cultures for many years, dating back to before the Louisiana Purchase. The French and Spanish influence is still evident in the architecture and customs. Because of this, New Orleans and most of South Louisiana is set apart from the rest of the state. It is almost as if there are 2 very different states. Holiday celebrations are steeped in and influenced by the traditions of the European ethnic groups, including French, Acadian (Cajun), Spanish, Italian, Irish, German, Creole, African-American and several other groups that settled there.

Christmas Eve Bonfires on the Mississippi River Levee

Miles of bon fires on the levee guide Papa Noel to his destination and a good time is had by all.

Miles of bon fires on the levee guide Papa Noel to his destination and a good time is had by all.

Here's the list. It's official - 10 ways that you know it's Christmas in New Orleans.

More About New Orleans Holidays

  • Louisiana Holiday Feast
    Louisiana Thanksgiving and Christmas foods vary greatly from North Louisiana to the southern part of the state. Here you'll find recipes and holiday customs from both regions.
  • Louisiana Seafood Diet
    Down here in Louisiana, we usually eat all the food that we see, but that's not exactly what this lens is about. Food from the sea and local waters, including fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and crawfish are popular all year long, but especially on the.
  • Apple Recipes from New Orleans
    New Orleans recipes for fall favorites including apple pie, cobbler, applesauce cake and baked apples plus stories about fall in New Orleans in the fifties and sixties.

© 2008 Yvonne L B

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on December 12, 2011:

Sounds like a lovely Christmas.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on November 17, 2009:

Thanks Linda, New Orleans was a wonderful place during the holidays.

Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on October 29, 2009:

Beautiful holiday lens!

The Party Animal from Partytown USA on January 01, 2009:

Yahoo you are a winner in The Squidoo Home for The Holidays Lens Contest So Go Grab your badge.

AlisonMeacham on December 22, 2008:

I have never visited New Orleans but would love to one day. Great to learn about their Christmas traditions.

julieannbrady on December 03, 2008:

It's been many a year since I was last in New Orleans. You've done a great job on capturing the spirit of this city.

piedromolinero on November 12, 2008:

It is always nice to get to know different traditions. This lens shows in a beautiful way the traditions of celebrating Christmas in New Orleans. Welcome to the Christmas Decorations group.

ElizabethJeanAl on November 01, 2008:

Welcome to The Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

Lizzy

Mazzer on November 01, 2008:

I congratulate you on making such a positive lens about a great holiday in a city that has been struck by tragedy. This kind of positivity helps in so many ways.

Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on October 30, 2008:

I went to New Orleans in 2002 pre-Katrina, but I'd love to make the visit down there again someday. Excellent work here!

ElizabethJeanAl on October 26, 2008:

Beautiful lens. Part of the joy of Christmas is sharing family traditions.

Lizzy

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