I have a challenge for you this week. I know, it's not like you need one more thing on your list, but this is important. I know that Christmas is different for adults; we have a ton of things to get done: food to buy & cook, presents to wrap, a house to clean and decorate. And on top of all that, we're working jobs and doing all those ordinary things that have to get done. But here is what you must do, you must stop for a few minutes in the chaos, and just look at this life around you. If you have a Christmas tree, you should lie down on your back underneath the tree and look up. Not only will you decrease your blood pressure by lying down, but as you look up you will see nothing but evergreen, twinkle lights, and sparkling ornaments. It instantly relaxes you and will make you smile, I promise.
Did you hear that our Ashland was voted the "Best Place to Raise Your Kids in 2011" in Virginia by Business Week? Of course we already knew that, but the magazine cites our wonderful Randolph-Macon College, our beautiful homes, and the Strawberry Faire. I would add our excellent public schools as well. Mechanicsville was the runner-up- yay for Hanover!
Happy Birthday to some more December babies: Susan Spence, Kevin Damien, Debbie Wilkinson, and Lauren Thompson!
If you'd like a little exercise before that Christmas feast, put on your tackiest Christmas sweater and meet at the Station Café on Christmas Eve morning at 9am for a 5K "Freezing Toes and Nose Run." You can warm yourself with a cup of Bart's coffee afterwards, and pick up your Christmas roast at Cross Brother's next door!
You look good, Ashland. The lights are beautiful and the garlands are shimmery. Doesn't it feel good to dress up?
As the year winds down, I always get a little wistful. I remember the Christmas Eves when I was little, when it was a whirlwind of wrapping paper, toys, cousins, and adults laughing in the kitchen. I remember grandmothers in their aprons and the wonderful food that they created. It seemed to take forever for it to get on the table, though, so my father and uncles would pack all the restless kids in the car to go look at Christmas lights. We would go see Motram Sanford's huge lighted tree at Hague (Westmoreland County) and the Santa out on the raft in Gardy's mill pond. After dinner, we would all go in the living room, my grandmother, Pauline Delano would play carols on the piano, and we'd open presents. Aunt Gertrude always gave socks. I can still hear their voices, and I think of the glow from the windows across those cold Northern Neck fields. Let's make sure that we are making good memories for the children of Ashland.
There's only one more column left for 2010. Send me your thoughts on the old year- are you glad to see it go? It has not been an easy year for many. All the better to look forward to 2011! Call or email me: 310-5320, firstname.lastname@example.org. Merry Christmas you old town! You are one of the best presents I've ever gotten.