It's been just about eight months since I moved to the Quad Cities, and I've been looking forward to this season the most. I love the holidays, particularly anything Christmassy. So when I learned that there was a big Christmas tree lighting over at the John Deere Commons, I definitely couldn't pass it up.

Maybe you've gone plenty of times before, and it's just become a chilly annual obligation. But for a first-timer like me, it was so magical. I didn't expect to see so many people out there. Seriously, there were hundreds! The sense of community was overwhelming.

Everybody was hustling and bustling trying to keep warm and it honestly felt like a midwestern Christmas movie on Hallmark Channel. Especially when the fireworks started.

The hot cocoa was surprisingly delicious, only because the batches were huge and it's hard to get the cocoa-water ratio right in those scenarios. There were elves running around, live music, sleigh rides and free cookies. In short: it was the perfect cliche and I loved every second of it.

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