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Don’t forget joy of the season

We have an unending supply of negative news lately. Demonstrations, political fights, bogus articles indicting others, investigations, threats against our country, budget woes. . . it never seems to stop. The crises seem to come so fast that even the 24-hour news media can’t keep up. And that is another source of stress as well.
So, what a relief it was to be in Jonesborough on Saturday, Dec. 13, where we took a day off from the world’s problems. The town was alive with people enjoying all the town had to offer this Christmas season — shoppers visiting stores and restaurants, the recently widened sidewalks often full of shoppers, Santa talking to an endless line of “nice” kids, and everyone just enjoying the day in freezing temperatures.
In the Visitors Center, there were hundreds if not 1,000 children and parents enjoying the annual “At Home With Santa” event. There were games, cookie decorating, “fishing” for gifts, popcorn, lollipops, Santa, carriage rides and lots more. The focus was on the children, and they felt right at home as they entered the Visitors Center’s main auditorium.
It was fun to watch as children worked to get their fishing lines into the hole, and the surprise and smiles when a gift came out — and to see the designs on the cookies, and watch as they enjoyed all the stations in the room.
After that, the younger children got the chance to shop for their parents and siblings in the “Parent Free” store, where they enter the store with a list of those for whom they are buying and some money while mom and dad wait outside.
They selected from a wide variety of gifts with prices from 50 cents to $2. Once the gifts were decided upon, the children were led to the wrapping department where middle and high school, and adult volunteers wrapped the gifts to go under the tree at home.
As this event ended, a new event began at the Jonesborough Middle School — the annual Christmas Parade. This year’s floats were numerous and well done. With lights, colors, music, youthful energy and a lot of hard work, our schools, churches, service clubs and individuals all came together to create a wonderful parade of lights, color and imagination.
They say that the heart of a town is a cadre of dedicated citizens with creative ideas, with the energy and willingness to implement them, and a local government willing to support them. Likewise, the key to its future is its children.
Thanks to the hard work of everyone who lives in and around Jonesborough, the heart and future of the town was on display for all to see and enjoy while we set the problems of the world aside.
So hats off to the town staff who planned and facilitated this great event, and to the volunteers who all worked to make this such a great day for everyone, and to all those who supported these events financially and through their creativity.
Merry Christmas,