Starting Thursday, Winona’s merchants will be hosting their annual Christmas Open Houses, which, to me, unofficially kickoffs off the holiday season in Montgomery County.
Crowds will be filling local shops to take advantage of the sales, enjoying refreshments and hot cider, and supporting our local vendors.
For those of you who do not shop the annual Christmas Open House in Winona, you are missing out. The sales are fantastic, and I am always excited to see how the shops decorate for Christmas. And everywhere you go smells like spiced oranges and cinnamon and freshly cut evergreen trees.
I urge you to get out and check it out – you will be happy you did!
This year, my friend Keetha Mosley organized the Merry Christmas Market for local artisans and crafters. This is kind of like a local version of Chimneyville, the statewide craft fair for the Mississippi Craftmen’s Guild. Shoppers can get one-of-a-kind, handmade goods while supporting local talent.
Mosley said 12 vendors will be setting up for the Merry Christmas Market, so don’t miss out.
Keetha, who is a watercolorist and cookbook author, always amazes me with her creativity. Give her a piece of paper and a pen, and she can hand-letter a beautiful design with a whole lot of meaning. I can’t even decorate my own Christmas tree without it looking like something Charlie Brown might have produced.
As I wrap up a tough year with my share of personal tragedy, you might think I would dread the holidays. Not at all. The holidays remind me of my momma, who spent three weeks decorating her house for Christmas. Besides, it is hard not to enjoy the holidays when you have a five-year-old son who has been focused on his Christmas list for MONTHS. Christmas is always best through the eyes of a child.
This year, I am already making mental lists of our all the cool Christmas activities my son would enjoy – cookie decorating, Christmas Eve pajama party, holiday light searches. I’m making lists of those to send Christmas cards, decoration ideas, and coming up with Christmas dinner ideas since I am hosting it this year.
With Thanksgiving two weeks away and Christmas coming in just over a month, things are hopping in Carroll and Montgomery Counties with programs at local churches and schools, special events, parties, dinners and gift swaps.
I know we are supposed to enjoy Thanksgiving before spreading the Christmas cheer, but with stuffed calendars from now until 9, November and December is packed full of giving thanks, giving praise, and celebrating all the joys in life.
Yes, there is shopping and parties and festivities abounding, but we need to really look at what this season is all about.
For two months, we need to stop and smell the stuffing and share a glass of egg nog and greet total strangers with Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. We need to give to those less fortunate, love our families, relish in the smiles of the children in our lives, and enjoy all the festivities this community has to offer.
So enjoy the season as it approaches and remember to check out our local shops for great gift ideas and the best customer service in the world. It is beginning to look a lot like….