The Wanderer | December 2017

On Christmas…  

by Dave Daly


It’s early December and we are knee deep in the Christmas swamp. While some regale the decorations, music and joy, others, like me, don’t. I’m too busy getting roiled over the onslaught of traffic, consumerism and frantic behavior brought on by American Capitalism.

To be clear, I celebrate Christmas with my relatives back east in Boston and enjoy doing so. For me it’s all about family, food and switching between the 24-hour A Christmas Story showing and the inevitable James Bond marathon. Oh, and Bob Dylan’s Christmas album. Christmas in the Heart is the only album that matters this time of year. Don’t like it?

Haters gonna hate.

I could go on about Dylan’s holiday masterpiece, but I came to wander. More specifically, I’d like to share some places you may want to wander to escape the Christmas massacre that Akron becomes this time of year. Every event posted on Facebook or seems to involve peppermint drinks spiked with cheer and coy references to what one might do under the mistletoe. Perhaps our time could be spent better elsewhere.

Take for instance, the woods. As of this writing, neither Summit Metro Parks nor Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) have taken to decorating our beautiful forests. I’m sure there’s a wreath or two here or there, but those can easily be avoided by going to less popular trailheads. Cool December days are perfect for hiking, especially when the sun is shining. Since most deciduous trees have lost their leaves by now, you can appreciate them in a different light, and cool birds, like hawks and woodpeckers, are more readily visible.  

If there is snow on the ground, it’s go time for sledding! Goodyear Heights Metro Park has a killer sledding hill, as does Cascade Valley in the Oxbow area. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are great options too and both can be done extensively in CVNP. Rental equipment is available for great prices.

Getting the chills just thinking about going outside? Hibernation may be a good option. Do you own a robe? Absolutely get one if you don’t. By avoiding Christmas, you can get to all the other things you have procrastinated doing. I’m talking about the fun things, like trying out a new recipe or binge watching that season of whatever show everyone’s talking about. Eat pizza and drink wine. You do you.


Trying to avoid Xmas, the cold, but not the outside world? There are some non-holiday related events taking place this time of year. Akron’s latest and greatest professional sports team, The Akron Aviators, part of the American Basketball Association, have two home games coming up on December 9th and 10th at the LeBron James Arena at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Tickets go for $10 and these guys ball hard.

Inevitably, December 25th will come and go and so will all of the accompanying chaos. Once the dust is settled and the new year is upon us, we’ll be fully engulfed in the doldrums of winter. Worry not though! There is plenty of wandering to be done on even the coldest days, especially when you don’t have to worry about running into Santa Claus. Have a gorgeous New Years!

Stay Gold.

For more information on where and when to have winter fun in the Summit Metro Parks visit:


Next Akron Aviators Homestand at LeBron James Arena

Saturday December 9th and Sunday December 10th from 6-9p

15 N Maple Street, Akron, OH 44303

For more information on dates, times and tickets visit:


Photos (in order) courtesy of Tim Fitzwater, Summit Metro Parks, Penny Krakoff and Akron Aviators. 


Dave Daly wandered into the Devil Strip office and stayed put until they gave him a writing assignment.