Column: Spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear

Published 11:00 am Friday, December 9, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

While the weather outside this week felt more like almost spring than almost winter, Chilton County is beginning its transition into the Christmas season. Over the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to cover different Christmas season events across Chilton County such as the Clanton Christmas parade and the Jemison Christmas tree lighting and candlelight service.

Going to all of these events really threw me back in time and reminded me of some of the yearly Christmas traditions me and my family used to do when I was living in North Carolina. Tanglewood Park and Zootastic are two parks that decorate their entire acreage with Christmas lights you drive through in your car. Charlotte Motor Speedway created its version of the drive through Christmas light show about eight years ago, and my family added that to our yearly Christmas rounds. You get to drive up on the banking of the NASCAR oval, which is extremely cool in your everyday car.

There are not many local city tree lightings where I am from like there is down here. I feel like North Carolina may specialize in the drive through Christmas light show business due to how many there are. However, I do like how the events that happen here locally go about bringing Christmas cheer. It feels more personal and community-like to attend these events such as a tree lighting. You get the opportunity to mingle with everyone in a community and interact with community leaders who care deeply about the traditions in their communities.

This year was the city of Thorsby’s first Christmas tree lighting event, and I think it will definitely stick and be around for many years to come. Clanton’s Christmas parade had a record number of entries and was the longest it has ever been. That has already established itself as a key Christmas event in the county, and in conjunction with the tree lighting downtown the event was even bigger. Jemison’s tree lighting and candlelight service was one of the most peaceful and meaningful Christmas events I had been to, and I can see why so many people show up each year.

Seeing all of the Christmas cheer around Chilton County has been great, and it will be even more special once we get some Christmas weather involved with it as well.