The Hallmark Christmas movie without snow

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

I told my friends when they asked where I was heading on Friday, “It’s a Sip and Shop.” When they questioned what it was, the best answer begins with,

“Do you ever watch the Hallmark Channel during Christmas?” 

When I was asked to be a participant in the Sip and Shop event in LaGrange last year, I jumped at the chance. At the time, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was myself, but once I arrived, I sensed I was participating in a Christmas movie production in Vermont without the snow.

The shops and the people seemed to somehow sparkle with a festiveness we don’t always find in big-city suburbs. And frankly, I doubt the folks in LaGrange realize they shine like they do to this outsider who once called this movie set home.

However, let me just say, you do. Last year, it was terrific seeing folks walk into Plum Southern where I was and recognize most everyone there. I witnessed southern charm at its best and a community’s Christmas spirit rising to its surface. 

We often waste valuable time wishing we were somewhere else, doing something different, and dreaming of a holiday like those we see in the movies. Most of the time, however, we may not be appreciating the wonderment of where we are because we are too busy wishing. 

Holiday events are treats, no matter where you live. They are a chance to visit with folks you haven’t seen in awhile as familiar Christmas tunes float through the air. It is a time to see what’s new, what’s happening, and what really matters in life. 

We all could use a little more levity and polite conversation. With the country being absorbed with political messes and trouble lurking around many corners, perhaps it is time to just be thankful for the place we call home. 

Maybe it is time to celebrate our towns by strolling down our streets and patronizing our stores. Isn’t it time to let the spirit of the holidays shine brightly through the season and beyond? It might just settle a lot of frayed nerves and create more peace.

I have no idea why I love everything about Christmas, but I do. I think I must have lived in the North Pole in a previous life. 

I love all things sweet as well, so that makes perfect sense. I begin pondering the events of Christmas by late July every year and am always bamboozled by how fast December arrives no matter how much I have prepared. Then when it is over, and once I recuperate, I can’t believe I have to wait twelve months for Santa to hop on his sleigh again.

Mostly I love Christmas because people appear to be happier and I love people. 

Of course, you encounter the occasionally Scrooge or Grinch whose goal is to make you join their misery party. I presume they might require a candy cane striped pacifier to aid their distress, then maybe they could also fancy participating in a bit of Christmas cheer.

Holiday lights, evergreen scented candles, wreaths on doors, glitter on floors, church bells ringing, carolers singing, and children squealing are just a small portion of Christmas joy. The rest belongs in our hearts.

For any of our holidays to be fantastic, we must revive and share our joy. You may not make it to the Sip and Shop events in your town, but you can choose to participate in the spirit of the holidays. We can choose to be thankful or be thankless. We can choose to be a miser or decide to be a giver. What we enjoy about the holiday season is determined by how we embrace it. 

My friend has a T-shirt that reads, “This is my Hallmark Christmas Movie Watching Shirt.“ 

This year, I told her she doesn’t have to see a movie to experience a Hallmark Christmas, she can participate in one. She can witness a town blossom with friendly smiles and sip a glass of wine while listening to Perry Como sing,

Oh, There’s no place like home for the holidays

‘Cause no matter how far away you roam

When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze 

For the holidays, you can’t beat home, sweet home. 

Thank you, LaGrange, for welcoming me back to your sparkle.