Christmas is by far the most exhausting of all the holidays throughout the year.
Months of preparation are dedicated to making that one day, December 25th, the most special day of the year.
Each year, the shopping season stretches further back into the fall.
Most are starting to make their Christmas lists before Halloween, and many are already shopping in early November in hopes that the supply chain has no issues getting that gift from some distribution center in Akron, Ohio to the Mississippi Delta.
But there are inevitable issues, which drive home the point of every local Chamber of Commerce that shopping local is preferable to leaving Christmas in the hands of online vendors.
Sunflower County did a great job this year in keeping Christmas local and fun.
The Chamber’s Merchant Committee actually started its Merchant Money giveaway back in the fall, getting more customers used to circulating through local shops prior to the Christmas season.
The same committee also launched the Follow Santa’s Footsteps shopping contest, which culminated in an $800 giveaway a couple of weeks ago.
Several individuals and organizations (listed in the letter below) helped bring back the Christmas barges to the bayou.
Then there was Cocoa & Candy Canes, followed by the annual lighting of the town Christmas tree.
The Christmas parade was a huge hit for those who showed up on the morning of Dec. 4.
Santa Claus has made numerous appearances, and he continues to do so in the week leading up to Christmas Day.
Indianola is not the only town that has done Christmas right this year.
Ruleville had its own Christmas parade earlier this month, lighting up its downtown ahead of Santa’s visit this week.
Inverness hosted Breakfast with Santa, a fun annual event that features some great breakfast foods and, of course, Santa.
Inverness is also home to Follow the Star.
What can I say about that event?
This Christmas program is on its eighth year. Planning begins as early as mid-summer on this endeavor, and it is totally worth it.
Over 500 people saw the play this year, and those who did not make the trek to Inverness to see it really did miss out.
Follow the Star provides that much-needed spiritual balance to other holiday events that can distract from the reason we celebrate to begin with.
Jimmy and Gail Lloyd’s Christmas lights in Moorhead are also a must-see.
If you have not gotten a chance to drive over and witness this in-person, don’t wait.
The town of Moorhead has also put up its own lights and decorations, mostly near the depot there.
As for my own family, we have tried to make it to everything.
Our church, First Presbyterian Church, along with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, put on a wonderful Christmas program with the children of those churches earlier this month.
Our girls, Ellie and Sarah, were angels in the production.
We had our first taste of Christmas, food-and-present-wise, this past Sunday when we celebrated with Callie’s family.
We have at least two more coming up this weekend, and while that won’t do my wasteline any good, it will be a lot of fun. It will be exhausting too.
But to see the looks on my girls’ faces on Christmas morning will make all of the work put into this holiday worth it.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!