Christmas in the South

I have spent most of my Christmases either in the southern states here in the US or in Mexico, so a cold Christmas, let alone a “white Christmas” have been pretty unusual for me. Even so, it just doesn’t feel right when it’s 70 degrees for the holidays.

But that’s just the way things are here in South Georgia. So, one has to rely on other indicators to help get into the holiday spirit!

Small town Georgia begins celebrating the Christmas season as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers are put away. Lights, holiday flags and banners are put on display on city streets and public spaces.  The first two weekends of December brings about a plethora of parades, festivals and markets… every town has their own traditions.

Georgia Southern’s “Sweetheart Circle” and TMT Farms in Statesboro, Guido Gardens in Metter and the Botanical Garden in Savannah become favorite nighttime destinations to see the lights.

In the “Fruitcake Capital of the World”, Claxton, the production and shipping of one of the season’s most popular / unpopular treats? kicks into high gear.

Most importantly, friends and families gather together, traditions are continued, communities are strengthened and an overall spirit of merriment and kindness ensues!

One of my new favorite seasonal activities in the area is a production called The Journey that is put on every few years by a church based in Savannah. The event draws tens of thousands of visitors and takes thousands of volunteers to produce.

The Journey takes visitors through an interactive experience which includes a Christmas music concert and a trip to Bethlehem. The trip involves getting hassled by Roman guards, up-close encounters with camels, a walk through Bethlehem’s marketplace and a visit to the manger.

For me, I like to put up my Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving… I enjoy the warm, festive glow of the lights and the tree gets adorned with ornaments that are each unique and many of which bring back special memories.

I like getting together with my sister and making Christmas goodies to share with others. I enjoy giving thoughtful gifts to friends and family.

Since I have no kids of my own, I still enjoy being the kid on Christmas! I love waking up on Christmas morning and waking up my parents (though sometimes they’re the ones who wake me up these days). It’s not about what’s under the tree, but who is around it and I know how blessed I am to be able to share this time with my mom and dad.

My wish for each of you is that you have a Merry Christmas, whether it is white or warm! And for those of you who are struggling this time of year and merriment is simply out of reach, my wish for you is comfort and peace!

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