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Winter Wonderland

Catching up and sharing from the files of my ramblings. This particular set is from

December 5, 2016.

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It’s a wonderful thing to feel a part of a community, a family knit not by biology and DNA but by camaraderie, the spirit of friendship within a group, like soldiers at war who keep each other upbeat despite the difficulty of their circumstances. No, thankfully we aren’t in a war, but this is someone who comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “We’re in this together.

I didn’t grow up in Fulton County, but this is where my family has landed and this is where we call home; the only home our children have ever known; the place we find solace and comfort; the place we recharge, refuel, and rest. Yes, this is home.

There are a few events I have found this feeling especially present at over the years: summer baseball, kid productions, livestock shows, and now, the Avon Christmas Walk. Only in its second year, this has become an event looked forward to be all ages – a time for little ones to snack on goodies while their parents visit with friends at local businesses, patient as they can as they also anxiously await visiting with Santa.

I don’t know who is completely in charge of this event, whose idea it was, or how it even began, but I can attest to its success, even the heavens gave us a beautiful blanket of soft white snow to add to the ambiance of the evening. Christmas carols sung by young scouts filled the air as folks walked up and down Main Street sipping hot cocoa greeting friends and neighbors we don’t often take time to stop and visit with beyond the standard, “Hi, how are you?” Yes, for a couple of hours the first Saturday in December, our little Main Street was transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

The highlight of the evening for adults may have simply been the time together with family and friends, catching up, gathering together in the cool winter air, but for kids, it was most assuredly seeing Santa, sitting upon his lap, and making their greatest Christmas wishes known.

As the mother of five children aged 7 through 18, I’ve been witness to more than a few Santa visits. It’s always fun for me to watch the wonder and see that Christmas magic in the eyes of young children. There have also been a couple of times over the years which I have seen the heartbreak of sadness as children share with Santa that a beloved Grandparent has passed on or favorite pet is no longer with them. The heartbreak is real, not only for the child and their parents, but for Santa as well.

My heart was so full as I knelt to pray with my children last night, full of smiles for their happiness over seeing friends, Mrs. Clause and Santa, too, but also full of thankfulness for those who worked so hard to put on such a great event; for those who attended and truly make this such a wonderful place to live and raise our family; for Santa, who comforted a sad little girl ahead of us in line, spoke softly and patiently with our spectrum son who sometimes struggles with conversation, then belly laughed with our youngest daughter. That Santa, he’s another amazing part of our community for which I am so thankful!

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