This evening we went to a local tree lighting ceremony. Since this is our first holiday season living in this town, we hadn't been to this event here before. It was really nicely done. The local shops got together with town hall and put the event on. There were Christmas carols playing, a horse drawn carriage ride through one of the upscale neighborhoods to see the decorated houses, Santa came on the fire engine and then got on the carriage ride with the kids. After you finished the horse drawn carriage, you were given a gift bag from the local merchants, which actually contained some nice things, not just junk and coupons. Then there was hot cocoa and cookies while you waited for the tree to be lit. We took our neighbor and met up with some friends. One of the girls had her son, who is 8 years old with us, and it was so much fun to watch it all through his eyes! The local cable station was there and had us all tape holiday greetings that will air the week of Christmas. They collected a toy or canned food as your "fee" to ride the carriage, so all those go to benefit the poor and needy in the area. We brought board games (Chutes and Ladders and Candyland) for the kiddies!
This is another reason I really enjoy living here, they have fun events like this all the time, they are free, and everyone in the area participates, so you get to meet new people while doing something different. The only thing that could have made it more perfect was if it had snowed a little, but it still had a nice postcard quality to it. I will post some pictures from it tomorrow.