Sharon Eberhard on Greeley Holiday Traditions
Story credit to Hannah Fields, November 2021
The Eberhard family shares inspiration for the holidays after living in Greeley for over four decades. Sharon Eberhard isn't just a resident of Greeley, Colorado. This “Lifer” has lived here since the 1960s. As a mother of four children and grandmother of 11, the holiday season is serious business: passing along traditions, leaving a legacy for generations to follow. Join us as we get to know our neighbor, Sharon Eberhard as she shares fond and festive memories.
“No matter where you are in the world, family should be a happy place.”
It was delightful hearing how Sharon describes community involvement during Thanksgiving to New Years. “People here are welcome and genuine.” She and her family enjoy activities such as the “Festival of Trees” and the “Greeley Lights at the Night Parade”. Attending these exclusive events is how the Eberhard's carry-on tradition. Greeley history and holiday customs make this time of year special. As an inspiration to all, Sharon encourages both her children and others to create their own rituals.
Whether you cook tamales or decorate your home with all the fixing; tradition is the glue keeping family together. Even during stressful times, the little ways we celebrate make a BIG difference. Building a strong foundation is key no matter what city you call “Home.”
Sharon creates vivid pictures of her childhood describing wintertime in Greeley. When Eberhard was growing up places like Lincoln Emporium were once a JCPenney, and The Rio was the old Woolworth five and dime. It must have been a delight strolling the decorative streets during the holidays. Musical jingles filled the air, red velvet bows with bright lighting hung from every pole creating a magical mood. Locals shopped at their favorite business for the perfect gifts and people welcomed you everywhere. Even if this may seem like a long time ago, these Greeley traditions are still in place today. As someone who has grown up here, Sharon describes the progress as nothing short of exciting.
Eberhard is also a big advocate for supporting local business. There are a ton of holiday gift ideas whether you shop at the boutiques and eat at the cafes. Shopping at a local business does two things, eliminates the stigma that there is nothing to do, and sustains the local markets.
At one point shopping locally was a necessity and a way of bringing family together. There is no better way to observe the season, including the kids and grandkids while supporting shops in the area. Besides favoring artisans and store owners, churches are another way to observe traditional holidays in our city.
As a member of Gloria Christi Lutheran Church, Sharon’s involvement with her spiritual connections is of equal importance. The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with those who share religious or faith-based beliefs. Being around your church family is yet another way to rejoice and carry-on heritage.
Another interesting part of Sharon’s youth; her grandfather drove a city bus for Greeley where stories about holidays ring loud as hand bells. Northern Colorado was a much different place back then. Today, you can still shop at boutiques, dine at one of the many restaurants and enjoy a robust nightlife. Year around Sharon spends a lot of time advocating for the city and supporting small businesses within the community.
Mrs. Eberhard is also an advocate and community outreach specialist with Life Stories. The non-profit organization made a complete fit for Sharon. You can hear how she sparkles with passion about her current career, assisting families in need while reminiscing about this NOCO town.
Throughout the year, Sharon and her family are active ‘Outdoorsy’ folks. She enjoys riding her bike, hiking in the mountains or Poudre Trail, and taking in the fresh Colorado air. Not to mention peddling 15-miles is common for this ‘Coloradoan.’ Despite her quest for the outdoors and athletic drive, Mrs. Eberhard’s strongest asset remains with her family and spending time with them every chance she can.
Whether you are spending time with your church family or your own family, it is vital to get involved. The holidays are such a wonderful time to discover alternative places and build your own family traditions, if you are creative, there is something for everyone.
In addition to maintaining family values and culture, both Sharon and her family enjoy caroling around the many neighborhoods spreading holiday cheer to all. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give the gift of music.
Speaking of music, another ritual the Eberhard's take advantage of is the Poinsettia Pops held at our very own Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra. This family event is something they enjoy each year creating holiday inspiration.
Visit downtown and make the best of the occasion. Sharon encourages everyone to become active in their community, building positive experiences with every opportunity. These are all achievable ways to enrich your family and create your own traditions, not just for the seasons, but every day. Happy Holidays to All!