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‘Tis the season of lots to do

Posted: December 5, 2013 11:39 a.m.
Updated: December 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.

A blog I follow posted a piece last year about Christmas traditions. The woman who writes the blog is newly married and wanted to start some holiday traditions with her husband and carry them on if they should ever have children. 

In the post, she laid out 25 days of various activities leading up to Christmas Day. Some families already do this, but since my sister and I have gotten older and someone is usually traveling, we haven’t really celebrated our own traditions or the time leading up to Christmas.

Whether you celebrate the holidays as a part of your religion or just as part of the commercial tradition, it’s still fun to celebrate such a happy time of the year. The writer, who is non-religious, described the days leading up to Christmas as a “personal advent calendar.” The calendar is especially effective for people who have newly moved away from their family or are living with friends.

Although I’m sure you can find a number of calendars on the Internet suggesting fun things to do every day of every hour during this month, there are some basic aspects I think it would be nice to include during the month of Christmas. These include enjoying a community event, doing service and spending time with family, while tying it all together with some creativity and good will.

I take hibernation seriously in the winter. I don’t like to be out if I don’t have to during the fall and winter solstice, but there are a number of worthwhile holiday events in Kershaw County to add the community experience to your personalized advent calendar: the town of Elgin will continue its annual Catfish Stomp today and Saturday. There will be carnival rides, entertainment and food for sale at Potter Communality Park. Its parade on Saturday will begin at 10 a.m. The Bethune Woman’s Club will host a Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Pine Grove Baptist Church is sponsoring a Drive-Thru Nativity Dec. 13 through 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. Kershaw County’s parade, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, will be held Dec. 14 at 10 a.m., while the Lights of Lugoff is at 6 p.m. that day. Historic Camden’s Colonial Christmas in Camden will also be held Dec. 14, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Camden Revolutionary War Site. Boykin’s parade is on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. It’s the parade’s 20th anniversary and the event will also feature food; local shops will be open to guests, too. There are also a number of church events in the community throughout the month, including church services, choir performances, festivals and winter revivals.

My parents used to drive us around neighborhoods that had homes decked out in lights. It’s fun just to drive around and look at all the creativity and holiday spirit used to decorate the exterior of a home. There is one particular home near the high school I attended that brings a smile to my face every year; it’s not really “pretty,” per se, but it is outrageous and fun.

For holiday service, INVISTA is sponsoring a holiday blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. If that’s not your thing, you could do something as simple as making cookies or cakes for neighbors or those in need. Food pantries and shelters need a lot of assistance during the cold holiday season; ask how you can volunteer or support a local provider. In addition, people who live in nursing homes, hospices and residential homes need visitors around the holidays. You can take whatever skills you have and entertain the people who can’t get to see their families this holiday season or people who don’t have a family. While you are on the fabulous holiday break, see if you can rummage through your home to find clothes, toys, appliances that you can donate.

Family time is always the most fun around the holidays: you can do things at home like decorate the Christmas tree, sing karaoke to Christmas music, hideaway little treats around the house and read Christmas stories or watch Christmas movies together. Make small portions of your favorite holiday meals all month long; take those family portrait’s you’ve been putting off; or make homemade holiday cards for your friends. One of our running Christmas traditions is to open one present on Christmas Eve. One thing I haven’t done that’s always seemed like fun is pick out a real tree from a tree farm; they smell so good and it would be a nice way to shake up the holidays with fresh smelling tree in your home.

Most adults still love and cherish holiday events they did as children, so it seems like a great idea as an adult to recreate some of the magic this time of year. ‘Tis the season even if you don’t have children or have moved away from any religious holiday traditions.

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