It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No matter where you go in Picayune, festive lights line the streets and the spirit of the holidays can be seen in the faces of residents.

Christmas is easily my favorite time of the year and that’s not because I get spoiled with an abundance of colorfully wrapped presents.

I’d imagine growing up in Picayune is a lot like my experience growing up in my hometown of Apex, NC—the only difference being football teams here are good enough to continue playing after Thanksgiving.

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In downtown Apex, the streets are packed with fellow residents around this time of year for their “Christmas on Salem Street,” much like Christmas on the Rails. As a kid, going to the festivities in the historic downtown district was something I always looked forward to. It wasn’t because I got to speak with Santa, and it wasn’t because I got to ride on a horse-drawn carriage. For me, it was all about spending time with my family and seeing smiling families enjoy each other’s company.

What brings joy to my heart is seeing the same atmosphere here in Picayune.

The spirit of Christmas is contagious and evident all around the country.

Some of my fondest memories during Christmastime are with the family doing ridiculous activities together and making the most out of everything. And of course, getting a visit from Santa Claus is pretty cool.

Every Christmas Eve, my family would gather at Grandma’s house and share stories that still makes me laugh hysterically today.

After the Christmas feast, my brother, cousin and I would frantically sprint to the living room, separate all the presents to their rightful owners, and sit in our self-assigned seats, impatiently awaiting everyone else to catch up.

I encourage all families to take advantage of the Christmas spirit and the big festivities.

From personal experience, small towns have the most to offer during this time of year.