On Thursday, the whole town (it seemed like everyone in town showed up) gathered to open the Christmas season. We filed out of our homes, down the streets and along the Grand River to the Old Mill. Choirs sang, Winners of a colouring contest were announced. The town mascot led in a countdown – 10, 9, 8 – no sooner had we shouted 1 than a magical light show began. Set to music, lights ran up, down and around the Old Mill. Snow drops lit cedars nearby and running lights outlined a tiny island in the center of the river.
Afterwards my husband and I, with our daughter, her husband and their two children,tramped across the bridge and through the quaint assortment of downtown stores for hot chocolate, apple cider and shortbread. My four-year-old grandson’s eyes lit up when he saw rows of Santa cookies in the window of Jones’s Bakery, a 100 year plus establishment.
A foolish question but I asked it anyway – “Is there something in the window you’d like?”
“Gramma, can I have a Santa cookie?”
We opened the ancient door of the bakery and took our places at the end of a line that wound through the store aisles and ended at the counter. By the time that Santa cookie made it back to the sidewalk it already had several little bites missing.
I love Christmas but the pressure to buy, buy, buy has stolen some of my joy. I long for simpler ways to celebrate. I experienced one of those simple joys at our town’s official opening of Christmas. I saw a little boy grin with delight while he ate a forty-cent cookie.
I plan to buy my grandson more than this forty-cent cookie for Christmas but I doubt he, or I, will have any more pleasure in it than we did tonight at Jones’s Bakery.
Piglet: The best things come in small packages don’t they Pooh?
Pooh: Yes Piglet, very often they do.