Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

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.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lion and the Lamb: A promised land?

    Back in biblical times there was a group of people who believed that God had promised them a segment of land on this planet that would be theirs forever. Who could have known back then that this ancient promise and territorial justification would be used by their descendants today to claim the same segment of land?

    July 29, 2014

  • We the People: Bring back the American dream

    Our economy continues to expand. The stock market is at record levels, yet many ask why so many of us are struggling?  Barely half of us believe the American dream is attainable.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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