True Spirit of Christmas is Alive in Bethlehem

Bethlehem did not create Christmas. Christmas created Bethlehem.

These words were spoken back in 1937 at a public ceremony when Bethlehem was officially crowned with the title of “Christmas City USA.”

86 years later and our hometown still shines brighter throughout the holiday season than just about any other place on the planet. In fact, in October 2023 Reader’s Digest named Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as one of the Best Christmas Towns in the US, sharing the limelight with some of the most-visited yuletide destinations in America, including Branson, Missouri and New York City.

Pardon our hometown pride, but all of us here at Moravian Village of Bethlehem are intimately familiar with the magic that makes our locale wonderfully unique throughout the year. We also get pretty excited seeing this enchantment grow exponentially during the Christmas season. So, being neighbors in-the-know about all things Bethlehem, we asked some of our residents about their favorite Bethlehem holiday experiences. 

Topping the list is how Bethlehem’s unique and authentic Colonial charm creates an atmosphere right out of a Dickens novel. A wealth of well-preserved classic architecture throughout the Moravian Historic District line the brick walkways for blocks, leading to the gleaming storefronts and treasures which await visitors in Main Street’s shops and cafes. 

It’s no wonder that USA Today declared Historic Bethlehem home to one of America’s Top 10 Main Streets and with one stroll, you’ll see why.

Walking along these streets in the glow of Victorian streetlamps, with horse drawn carriages clopping through a flurry of snowflakes is an enchanted experience that transports one’s spirit back to a gentler, less commercialized era.

Additional “must experience” attractions include:

Christkindlmarkt is a prime example how beautiful holiday shopping can be. Shoppers flock to this central attraction to browse and buy handmade works by many of the nation’s finest artisans. 

The Live Advent Calendar where visitors gather outside the 1810 Goundie House each evening, knock on the door and are greeted by a special guest who distributes treats to the crowd.

Christmas City Village and Christmas Hut on Main Street is another triumph of tasteful shopping. Visitors explore their way through a series of magical holiday-themes wooden huts filled with unique holiday gift ideas.

These are just a few of the reasons that make our home here in Historic Bethlehem magnificently magical during the holidays. There are many, many more. We encourage you to experience them for yourself…and while you’re in the neighborhood, stop into Moravian Village of Bethlehem and say hello. Our own Christmas decorations are a sight to behold as well!

Warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a blessed Christmas. We hope you are gifted with the best presents of all—family love and another happy, healthy New Year in 2024!