On the day after Thanksgiving, our town has a tree-lighting ceremony and community sing. There are also free horse-drawn trolley rides, (which happen to be operated by a family from our church!), decorated windows to admire, (the jewelry store is always our favorite, because of the train sets running past the windows, carrying beautiful diamond rings), and a gingerbread house contest, with entries ranging from the cute, (by children), to the amazing, (by professionals such as engineers and artists). This is one of my favorite things about living here. It’s so nice to see families turn out and participate in a community event.
Every year that we’ve gone, the first song we’ve sung has been “O Come All Ye Faithful.” I have to admit, this brings a tear to my eye every time. I don’t think there are too many places left where a community activity like that begins with the singing of an actual Christmas hymn. It’s not like this is a church function; it’s a city event. We also have a nativity scene set up on the town square, which I realize is becoming more unusual (separation of church and state and all), and so I cherish seeing it again every year. Watching people gather together, of their own accord, outside of church, and recognize the true Reason for the Season, does my heart good. I’m glad my children can witness moments like this, as well.