Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


December 16, 2013

Tidbits: Finding some jolly

CROSSVILLE — Christmas is a mere week away and my house looks like the Scrooge house on the block. I've still got my autumn decorations out. There's a scarecrow where a snowman should be and I haven't lit up the night sky with any Christmas lights. Inside, it's just as bad. There is no tree trimmed with all my favorite ornaments, no stockings hung with care and hardly a hint that Christmas time is near.

I hope to redeem myself this week. If the weather forecast holds up, I might make it outside with some decorations and spread a little holiday cheer.

I find myself feeling more in the spirit of the season after all the activities offered up this past weekend in Crossville. Despite the late Thanksgiving and what felt like a rushed Christmas season, I think I'm ready.

Saturday, I found my jolly. I was beginning to think it had been packed away with all the Christmas decorations that are still securely stored. It's still a bit hit or miss, and I'm sure the cold, the rush, the pressure of the season will get to me again before it's all said and done, but I found it. It's there. I may even play a Christmas song or two.

In case you're wondering, that's kind of a big deal for me. I spent a few Christmases in retail, where the Christmas music began before Thanksgiving and continued through Dec. 24 at closing. More than 15 years later and I'm still burnt out on "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."

What happened to change my mind? Where did I find this spark of jolly? I had almost decided to give up on the Christmas decorations. It takes so much time and then you have to take it all down. And if anything includes glitter, you'll have those memories of Christmas clear through to July.

I found it Saturday morning, as I and about 30 other brave and hardy souls hit the streets with our sneakers for the first TAD Center Reindeer Run. There was a costume contest and I, knowing my ability to win a prize based on the swiftness of my pace, went all out. From striped socks to reindeer antlers, with a lighted tutu skirt, I think I made a decent Dancer, one of all the other reindeer who wouldn't let poor Rudolph play any reindeer games.

I won the costume contest, thanks to a very nice Santa who agreed to let me be the winner after a voting tie. Thanks, Santa! I appreciate it very much. Especially since I didn't get to leave with a medal. But, my walking buddy did, taking third in our age division, and my other walking buddy left us in the dust to take first in her age division. We all left feeling like we'd had a great start to the day.

But on Saturday, the TAD Center was but the first of several stops. Did you happen to see the calendar of events for Saturday in Crossville? There were plenty of opportunities for everyone to find their missing jolly, in case they needed it.

Not far away, I found a bunch of elves working to make the season bright for more than 500 children in this community. The elves, who looked a lot like our friends, neighbors and local firefighters, were busy most of the day wrapping up presents that were donated by other friends and neighbors in the community through Christmas on the Mountain. The stacks and stacks of presents will find their way under trees this week.

To top off the evening, the city of Crossville presented the annual Christmas parade, with lights, candy, music and more. It was a little chilly, but the rain held off for the most part and everyone got to enjoy The Heart of Christmas. While it's always fun to see the head elf, Santa, who managed to make time for the Crossville parade in his busy pre-Christmas Eve schedule, I was most inspired by the youngsters, with their eyes bright and their cheeks rosy from the December evening temperatures, wishing the crowds a Merry Christmas.

I had the pleasure of standing next to a young man, probably about five, who was truly thrilled by every car, tractor, trailer, horse, float and costumed character that passed by. It gave me a glimpse back at Christmas through the eyes of a child – the excitement, the anticipation, the sheer joy of it all. He had jolly to share and it was infectious.

I'm glad he offered me a bit of jolly and I'm looking forward to decking my halls and trimming my trees.

Text Only
  • Lion and the Lamb: Our war on women

    Jimmy Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, has had quite an impressive career as an author. His first book was published in 1975, and he has now written a total of 37 books, 23 of them after his presidency. He has set a high example for other past presidents, especially those who would like to find ways of being as beneficial to their nation as possible in the days after their retirement.

    April 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: "Selfie" destruction

    Technology continues to profoundly impact our daily lives, from the Heartbleed Bug that put hundreds of thousands of websites at risk of compromising customer usernames and passwords, to the little light that tries to tell me I'm about to run out of gas. Technology also impacts our language, with new words being created to describe the latest gizmo, gadget or trend.

    April 21, 2014

  • Stumptalk: It depends on what you mean

    A writer’s headline asks, “Do we really believe in democracy?” To which I answer, “What do you mean by democracy?

    April 21, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice