Friday, December 12, 2014

An Alabama Rockwell Christmas Town

I am fortunate to live in a wonderful part of the globe.  Sussex is a great little community with resilient and friendly people and pastoral scenery.  All this is elevated during the Christmas season.  Main Street recently has been enhanced by the addition of two great stores.  Outdoor Elements and Viewfinders have added a splash of color, class, and culture to the already impressive landscape.  This entry was my column for the December 9th edition of the Kings County Record and will serve as my Christmas version for the KCR.  I hope you enjoy it. 
My kids recently celebrated "Ugly Sweater Day" at school and my wife did a great job of getting them ready.  Photo cred: Michelle King Whalen

Merry Christmas.  Wow.  It is hard to believe that we are already well into another Christmas season.  This is a great time of year and we are fortunate to celebrate it in an area that could come right out of a Rockwellian Christmas card.  Rolling, snow covered hills with frosted limbs and smoky rivers giving you a feeling like you're in the middle of an Alabama Christmas song

On the weekend I was walking down Main Street in Sussex and there were people window shopping, couples holding hands and hot chocolate, and carolers serenading us all.  My kids were walking beside me laughing and I couldn't help but turn my head skyward for a minute and give thanks.  When you consider the comfort level we have and the peace of mind we possess as we walk down the street, the blessing is amplified that much more.

A simple walk down Main Street would set our area apart but it goes well beyond Main Street.  Why not go to a Christmas tree farm, not a stand, a farm, with your family and cut down your own tree and enjoy being outdoors.  That is an old fashioned Christmas and that is how memories are made. The smell of the fir and pine trees will forever remind you of Christmas and how cool would that be when you walk into the woods in July.  You could celebrate Christ year round.

The congregation at St. Mark's church know a thing or two about an old fashioned Christmas too.  As we drove by their church tonight my son asked "Hey Dad, when is the living manger this year?  Honestly I don't know off the top of my head when it is but you can bet we'll keep an eye out for the sign and make sure not to miss it.  If you have never taken in the event, I encourage you to come out and watch this year.

If you can't celebrate Christmas without music then you're in luck.  There are lots of Christmas shows going on.  The St. John's United Church is hosting a music night at their center and if you're not in the Christmas spirit when you go in, you will be when you come out.  If you need more, then check out the local bulletin boards and music shop windows.  There are some big names coming to town and I don't mean Santa.  All the performers are his opening act and all them seem to revel in the role. 
How about those bright windows and the great color on Main Street.  Photo Cred: Outdoor Elements

Don't worry, I won't forget the presents.  The best part is, I don't need to leave town to get all I need.  Main Street is looking vibrant again and with some new shops our choices will be more difficult to make.  There will be lots of people to chat with and share smiles and catch up with.  It might be hard to get all the shopping done if you chat too much but don't worry, I'm sure Santa will take care of it.

Even with all these great activities and surroundings, I hope you have some time to slow down and enjoy family.  From my family to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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