No turning back now.  Christmas is coming and Friday's celebration in downtown Grand Rapids serves as a small reminder that our shopping days are slowly ticking away.

This Friday, the Grand Rapids Art Museum will hold their tree lighting ceremony, followed by the opening of ice skating at Rosa Parks circle, then the launch of a downtown Christmas decorating competition.

The festivities begin on Friday at 5:00pm with the Holly Jolly choir.  Next, GRAM will light their Christmas tree at 5:15pm.  Then get ready for a little exercise, maybe a few bruises too, ice skating opens at 5:45pm (weather permitting).  Admission to skating is $1.  Skate rental is free with an ID.  Here's more on skate rentals and the schedule for skating at Rosa Parks Circle this winter.

And since it's been a least a few days since Grand Rapids has had a competition which requires us to walk from business-to-business and vote for's the Holly Jolly Christmas decorating competition. Visit any of the 46 participating businesses and vote for your favorites.

I'm not much of an ice skater, my 5-year-old is already better than me, but I welcome any chance to get downtown and enjoy Christmas with the family in Grand Rapids.