By Christian Toews
From the Dec. 2021 Biskinik
The holiday season always brings some much-needed downtime. Many people use this time to relax and spend time with family and friends. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has many unique and beautiful places to spend some time this Christmas season.
Choctaw Country is a diverse landscape with friendly and welcoming people living in all parts of the Choctaw Nation. People travel from all over the United States to take in the wonder that the area offers.
Choctaw Country has several perfect destinations for you to celebrate the holiday season. So, grab your friends and family, see the dazzling light displays, grab a cup of excellent coffee or both.
One of the main attractions during Christmas time is Christmas in the Park hosted by the Choctaw Nation. Christmas in the Park takes place at the Choctaw capitol grounds at Tvshka Homma.
The capitol grounds sit in a valley surrounded by the area’s stunning tree-covered hills. Each year, these hills transform into a vibrant display of fall colors. If you’re lucky, you might even see these colors in December.
Christmas in the Park will be open from December 3 to December 31 this year. Hot chocolate will be available on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the weekends of December 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18. This drive-thru light display is a perfect way to spend an evening with your family or friends this holiday season.
While you’re in the area, stop by My Crystal Chandelier Coffee House & Gift Shop in Talihina. This coffee shop is a great place to stop on your way or after viewing Christmas lights. Letha Tipps owns and operates the coffee shop, and she said that she wanted to bring premium coffee to the southeast Oklahoma area.
She opened the doors in October of 2020 and said the tourists who come to see the Talimena Drive or other attractions in the area helped her get the business off the ground.
Now that she has been in business for a year, Tipps says she has a large group of regulars from the local community.
My Crystal Chandelier Coffee House & Gift Shop serves Topeca Coffee. Tipps says she chose to serve Topeca, in part because it’s a local brand to Oklahoma.
“Not only is it a premium product, but it’s also out of Oklahoma, and we believe in supporting as local as we can,” she explained.
Tipps invites everyone to stop by and give the coffee a try.
“Stop in and experience the difference. In our geographical area, we are providing something that hasn’t existed by providing premium coffee and excellent service,” said Tipps.
If you travel northeast of Talihina this holiday season, you’ll find another popular holiday attraction – Lights on the Island at Wister Lake State Park in Wister, Oklahoma.
Located on Quarry Island within the park, this light display attracts people from across the country.
Lights on the Island is surrounded by water which provides a unique Christmas light display experience. This drive-through light display has something for everyone and is open nightly from November 12 through December 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
If you are looking for delicious coffee near Lights on the Island, look no further than The Coffee Cup in Poteau. This unique coffee shop serves various specialty coffee drinks and uses premium beans from Onyx Coffee roasters out of Bentonville, Arkansas. The Coffee Cup is the perfect place to visit before or after your trip to see the Christmas lights in Wister.
We wish you a safe and happy holiday from all of us in Choctaw Country.
Things to Do
- Choctaw Casino & Resort – Pocola
- Kerr Arboretum Trails & Nature Trails
- Heavener Runestone Park
- Spiro Mounds
- Lake Wister State Park