That feeling of Christmas

This time of year has got me thinking of the traditional day-long shopping extravaganza my mom and I would embark on through Batesville when I was a kid. It usually involved a stop at Charlie’s Menswear to get my dad a couple of shirts, at Essie’s to browse for ornaments and decorations, and maybe Heuer’s to let me pick out some new shoes (we always ended up buying ourselves a little something along the way; you know what they say about all work and no play…). 

We had several favorite stops, most of them gone now, but I still can see the downtown merchants’ faces, the sound of Christmas music, and smell of hot cider at open houses. It all added up to a big part of the magical “feeling” of the holidays for me. 

I walked through Main Street earlier this week and for the first time in a long time, the decorated shop windows and the lights draped across the street made me remember that old Christmas feeling and that beloved tradition with my mom. And it made me realize that I’ve never done that — a full day of Christmas shopping and drinking cider and laughing and all the things — with my own daughter, already 10.

That will be remedied this year. 

Online shopping is convenient, but I find myself doing less of it. There’s nothing magical about clicking ‘add to cart’.

If you have family in town for the Thanksgiving weekend and are looking for something to do, I want to personally recommend taking them downtown. Saturday is the perfect day to go, too. Besides the fact that it’s all lit up, this weekend is ‘Small Business Saturday’, so there will be special (free) activities planned, and the stores will be offering special sales and promotions.

Here is the schedule they’ve got lined out:

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Morley Family Magic | Citizens Bank Pocket Park 

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Storytime with Snow White | Paper Chase Book Store 

3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Pictures with Santa | Fellowship Bible Church 

5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Batesville Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 

7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Free showing of “Christmas Vacation” | Melba Theater 

The festivities are topped off with the “Batesville Christmas Tree” lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. inside Citizens Bank Pocket Park. There will be local musicians and choirs, and Gary Bridgman with White River Now will be reading “The Night Before Christmas” just before Mayor Rick Elumbaugh and Santa Claus “flip the switch” to light the 20-foot-tree (a gift to the community from Citizens Bank).   

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holiday shopping everyone. Best wishes recalling your own traditions and memories, however small or however forgotten, and building new ones with your family. 

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