My husband and I put up our Christmas tree this past Friday and my children decorated the tree. We have our advent calendar filled with Christmas activities, and held our first annual No Rules Family Dinner.
Yet my children keep asking for snow – because in the minds of a 3 & 5 year old snow means Christmas is coming. While Anderson, SC may not be famous for its white Christmases. It has been known to snow at Christmas on rare occasions, like the small dusting of snow that happened in 2010. Still there is no place like home for the holidays.
If you happen to be in Anderson during the holiday season here are six activities that you just shouldn’t miss.
1. Local Craft Shows
There seems to be a resurgence among natives of Anderson to support the community – especially during the holiday season. One of the ways this is evident is the hustle and bustle in the downtown stores.
There are also annual craft shows that the community looks forward to. Two of these include Anderson County Museum’s annual Mistletoe Market and Upstate Kid’s annual Holly Jolly Holiday Fair. Both of these events are child friendly. The Mistletoe Market offers drop & shop kids programming for children ages 3-7 while the Holly Jolly Holiday Fair offers inflatables, magic shows, and other family activities.
2. Live Nativities
Trinity United Methodist Church and North Anderson Baptist Church both offer live nativities. Both of these churches are located on Clemson Boulevard, which I believe provides perspective for us as we rush around town to do our shopping. There is so much hustle and bustle that it is easy to forget the simplicity and true meaning of this holiday season.
3. Christmas Lights
Whose family doesn’t hold the holiday tradition of piling in the car and looking at lights? Anderson offers an amazing display of lights downtown as the lights change in sync with the music. Simply tune your radio to 95.1 FM as you drive along Main Street between Tribble and John streets each evening beginning at 6 pm through December.
Another holiday favorite is the Lights of Hope ($3 coupon on the home page) at Darwin Wright Park. The gates open nightly at 5:30 p.m. The name perfectly describes this Christmas light display as all proceeds from gate admissions go to charitable organizations in the Anderson Area.
4. The Downtown Hustle & Bustle
Visiting downtown Anderson during the holiday season is like escaping momentarily into a blissful wonderland. You can admire the beautiful tree at the courthouse in the heart of downtown. There is an annual walk and tree lighting which is generally held the first Friday in December. Downtown stores are dressed up for Christmas and stay open later for this special occasion.
5. Christmas Parades
Who doesn’t enjoy a Christmas parade? Anderson county brings in the Christmas season with a variety of unique Christmas parades. There are 11 of them in our area this weekend.
THURSDAY 12/5 (today)
6 p.m., Westminster Christmas Parade, Main Street, downtown
10 a.m., Central Christmas Parade, downtown
10 a.m., Easley Christmas Parade, parking lot behind Easley First Baptist Church
10:30 a.m. Six Mile Christmas Parade, downtown
3 p.m. West Pelzer Christmas Parade, downtown
3:30 p.m. Belton Christmas Parade and Christmas Lights, downtown (6:00 p.m.)
5 p.m. Walhalla Christmas Parade, Main Street, downtown
3 p.m. Anderson Christmas Parade
3 p.m. Liberty Christmas Parade, Liberty football stadium
3 p.m. Pendleton Christmas Parade, downtown
4 p.m. Salem Christmas Parade, downtown
Christmas is marked with carols and music. It seems this music starts earlier and earlier each year, and the Nelson household may or may not have been playing Christmas music in October. Okay, we were, but I just love the happy light tunes of Christmas time. There are a number of local Christmas performances that you can choose to attend.
For example, New Prospect Baptist Church’s Singing Christmas Tree which I remember attending as a young girl. Tickets usually go quickly, so call the church office soon.
Also, the Anderson University Christmas First Night which, according to their website, “features lively and heart-warming selections from groups and ensembles, ending with the traditional lighting of the Yule log on the lawn outside the Rainey Fine Arts Center”. This event is also free, but requires tickets which go very quickly. The event is TONIGHT, so call right now if you want a chance.
I encourage you to partake in the events of the season. Give back to the community. Enjoy Christmas through a child’s eyes. Spend time with family and friends. Sing Jingle Bells at the top of your lungs. And instead of Dreaming of a White Christmas take in all the wonder of a Christmas in Anderson. Who knows… with all the wonder and excitement of the holiday season it just might snow this year!
Which holiday events are you planning on attending this year?