Sunday, December 03, 2006

Small Town Christmas

I have been soaking up small town Christmas charm to the best of my ability.

Our town has not had its own Christmas parade in over twenty years--it shared one with the neighboring town which I witnessed just once. It was the worst excuse for a parade that I have ever seen, even with my own daughter dressed as a reindeer (she was not happy). It was nothing more than a string of cars and trucks with the names of local businesses plastered on them. It might as well have been called the Ad Section parade.

But last night, my town put on its own Christmas parade extravaganza. It began with the mayor standing in the middle of the square. He counted down from ten, and at zero, lights were turned on for the giant tree and these rather tacky garland ropes that create a kind of holiday roof over the main street. They are tacky, but I love them. Then there was the parade in which people and businesses actually put effort into creating floats--the old-fashioned floats that I knew as a kid with giant colorful lit-up displays pulled by trucks. The VWF carried flags, a soldier from the local armory lead a riderless horse, and high-school kids sang carols from a giant set of stairs on the back of a flat bed. It was lovely and heartwarming and small town, and I watched the whole thing with my good friend C.

One of the final entries was the high school marching band, in which daughter #2 plays the trumpet. They did their bit and then went back to the square, lining up in front of Santa's little red house. The Lion's Club gave away hot dogs, there were Christmas cookies given away under a big green tent, and there was hot chocolate. The mayor sat on the steps of Santa's house and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to little kids holding balloons. A choir sang, the band played, it was beautiful. Sigh.

This afternoon, daughter #2 and I went to Zoar Village, a historic site not far from here that has a little Christmas festival every year. There were crafters with booths and freshly popped kettle corn and pumpkin rolls. We bought jewelry from a woman who creates lovely things with beads and buttons. We bought bread baked in wood-fired kilns from the 1800s. There was a little brass band consisting of a tuba, two trumpets, and a trombone playing carols. We could only spend an hour in Zoar because we had to run to a tennis lesson, but it was lovely just the same.


RobynRenee said...

Wow congratulations on making it 30 days for NaBloPoMo. I unfornately failed on day 4 i think???
And I understand about the small town parades. I grew up in a small town where we have a parade every summer. The floats are usually pretty sad, but they are fun. Everyone gets into it.

Sassy Sundry said...

Fun! My hometown does a great parade, as does this other place I lived, but I think my current home does a little ad parade. Someone across the river, however, has strung up lights on an evergreen tree. At night I look out my window and see the Christmas tree on the river. It's great.

Robyn said...

Robyn, it's that community connection I was looking for, and I wasn't disappointed.

Sassy, my house is on a hill, and my friend who lives below me lights up a small tree in her back yard that I can see from my living room window at night. It's so lovely, almost like it's there just for. What a pal she is. :)

RICH said...

So daughter #2 is following in your footsteps.. way to go - another trumpet player. She's got to do at least one year of drum corps. The canton Blue Coats will take her.

dive said...

Robyn, you melt my cynical old heart.
If only we did Christmas like that over here.
Instead, Harrods and Tesco and the like put their Christmas stuff up for sale in August (AUGUST)! And then it's just a non-stop commercial feeding frenzy, like hogs at a trough. Disgusting.
It's so bad it makes me shut it all out. I don't decorate the house and the only concessions I make are reading A Christmas Carol and watching It's A Wonderful Life.
It may be schmaltzy, but your Christmas parade sounds wonderful. Send it over here, please.

Robyn said...

Dive, it's pretty commercial here too, but you just pick and choose how you participate. I will watch It's A Wonderful Life and a stack of others between now and Christmas--White Christmas, Holiday Inn, We're No Angels...

I recognize that none of these is sacred, but I like the sentimental aspect of the holiday as well as the as the recognition of Jesus' birthday.