Saturday, December 5, 2009

A small town Christmas

The first community event we attended when we moved to Missouri was the Hometown Christmas party.  They close down the streets around the courthouse square and the merchants invite you to step in from the cold and get your face painted or decorate Christmas ornaments.  Where else can you get a ride in an open sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer (pay no attention to the red Kowasaki 4X4 in the very front).

There were big barrels holding bonfires for roasting marshmallows,  giant urns with hot chocolate, and hot dogs to eat.  The cafe off the square made dozens of sugar cookies for the kids to decorate.

You can see the penguin Schnickelfritz had painted by someone in the insurance agency.  I had a snowman on my cheek.  While we were holding very still despite the ticklish brush, another little boy came in.  They asked what he wanted painted and he answered "A mustache."  One of the ladies painted on a curly, handlebar mustache.  Little did this kid know what a trend he had started.  Fritz immediately requested a mustache to go with his penguin.  As the day went on we saw dozens of boys and girls sporting facial hair--some in traditional colors, some in red and green.

As dusk approached (around 5:30), there was a parade around the square.  Hand decorated trailers were pulled by tractors and pickups.  This is probably as close as I can get to living in Jan Karon's Mitford.


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