If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have gone from a large metro area to a small historic and mostly rural area. My morning problems commuting to work used to be traffic, merging lanes, rubbernecking, wrecks and slow drivers. Now driving back and forth my biggest problems are the flashing lights, slow tractors, and slowing down riding through small communities. Too be honest it has been a rewarding change. I was pleasantly surprised by the Lighting of the Christmas Tree on Friday night in Edenton, NC.
I had hurriedly finished up my work and logged off my computer to head the short journey downtown to light the tree. I knew that it was going to be big time, when I passed a red fire engine Truck # 1 circa 1923, chauffeuring Santa Clause. Upon my arrival and finding a parking place, I hurried towards the waterfront to hear the announcement that it was about to begin. I had no idea what others had increasingly marginalized, this celebration would whole heartedly embrace. After being greeted by the host, a men’s choir sang four songs, including classic Christmas songs O’ Come All Ye Faithful and Jingle Bells in the round. Afterwards, around 60 children from the local Elementary school sang. There excitement was contagious, so much so, as they sang their renditions, they were getting faster and faster as the teacher attempted to pull the reins on the song’s sleigh. The amount of young families and children, along with others and their animals mixed for merry moments.
Next the mayor, quickly greeted the people, but without delay got to the business of counting it down. All jumped in and counted down as the Christmas Tree was lit, turning to side from the stage and looking from where I stood; seeing the lights of the small town in background to the tree. Then chauffeured on the Ole Fire Engine, the jolly Saint Nick arrived. Again, the excitement was contagious as kids jumped up and down upon his arrival and crowded around him as he took his place.
As the children lined up and we began to walk away; I thought what a great time! Increasing in our world the joy of the Christmas season is being marginalized to say nothing of the real meaning of Christmas. It was not the rush to celebrate every possible holiday in the season, but it was for a moment a focus on celebrating Christmas. There was not the rush of materialism, although on song did demand some Figgie Pudding. (Not really my thing). It was classically Christmas and was classically embraced. The joy and excitement of the Christmas season was there. The night featured songs to remind you and excitement to inspire you in this season of Joy, Peace and Love.
So if you have a chance to pull away from the business of life and the red lights that are stopped decorating the interstate and pull into a small town this season. I encourage you to respond, you will find something Classically Christmas and Classically Refreshing. May the joy of the Christmas season be yours!