It's Beginning . . .

This year, it began when I casually mentioned to Ms. Taylor’s kindergarten class on a recent snowy morning that I’d accidentally left a new purchase out in the snow the night before. When I told them that what I left out was my family’s Christmas Tree, twenty little faces instantly glowed with excitement at the mere mention of Christmas. When those bright eyes looked up at me, I knew it was beginning.

Later that morning, our friend Suzi Summerlot stopped by the Foundation to drop off a loan of our first Christmas decorations for our new office. A couple of moving Santas and a reindeer could not have been set up fast enough for me. I dropped everything to stop and get them set up. As we watched a young boy walk by and pause to gaze at Santa, memories of decorated department store windows from more than 50 years ago streamed back into the present. It’s beginning to look . . . like something’s going on here.

The Spencer Exchange Club is selling trees over at the Babbs lot again and, on my first tour of tree sales duty, my first customers were a young mother and her daughter who were continuing their own family tradition of walking over from their house a few blocks away pulling a red wagon to carry home their pick of a big white pine. As that tree bearing wagon rattled off into the pre-yuletide darkness, I imagined that Christmas Tree was already filling their warm home with the comforting aromas of the season. I wished them joy and thought about the family gathering around both that tree and the tradition they have established to celebrate Noel.

Looking around Owen County, Annie Bright baked cashew butter cookies and Mexican wedding cakes, one of my mother’s Christmas standards.

Arnold and Sandie Hartman donated some extra tree stands to the tree sales operations so they can be given away to for those in need.

Out on Hyden Road, Bruce and Karen Fisher have once again finished the setup of their front yard Christmas wonderland of decorations. Thanks, neighbors, for making our country road look like the North Pole. I’m glad to live near Santa for one month a year.

My grandson Robbie just put together his Christmas list (and widely distributed it) complete with web site links so all his gifts will be easily available for purchase. The process isn’t too far off of the Sears catalog sessions we used to have with our cousins when they came for Thanksgiving. After the feast, we spent hours looking through the big toy section of the “wish book” and then scrawled out our long lists of important needs and gave them to Mom and Dad to mail in to Santa for us.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The season will kick off in earnest tomorrow, December 1st from 11 to 4, with our Christmas at the Square festival. Even though there might be a tiny bit of December rain in the forecast, the celebration will take place all around our Courthouse Square. There will be fun for children and some seasonal shopping for mom and dad. Of course, the highlight will be Santa’s visit to the Courthouse. I’ve heard that the jolly old elf will be glad to visit with any little one that would like to have a word with him. The day will culminate in the Christmas parade along Main Street starting at 5. This year’s parade will be led by pioneer settler John Dunn who will help kick off the 2019 Owen County Bicentennial celebration. Come out and be jolly, too.

The 9th Annual Gosport Holiday Festival will take place next Saturday, December 8th starting at 11. The day’s celebrations will include the popular Snowball Drop, a Christmas Tree Decorating Contest, Millie McGee’s Gosport Diner Gingerbread Contest, and much more. Come out and celebrate with Gosport.

Signs of the season are coming out all over and we’re so thankful to join in with our community to celebrate. Watch the Evening World for details on many more holiday events taking place this year.

“Christmas is coming. The geese are getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.”

Your Owen County Community Foundation can help you put a penny in the hat. If you’d like to know more about how we can help with your local charitable giving, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in our new office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer.

Your OCCF will be having an open house this Saturday, December 1st, as part of the Christmas at the Square festival. We’d love to visit. We’ll be here from 11 to 4.

We wish you the merriest of Christmas seasons.

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