Sometimes there truly are benefits
to living in the middle of nowhere.
Lewistown is isolated and it's over
one hundred miles to a major retail
center. Nothing could make it easier
to miss the Christmas rush. We do
have a historic and charming retail
center. However there are two words
that are rarely uttered in our town -
BLACK FRIDAY. The truth is no
one around here thinks about "it"
nor cares about "it" because as far
as we're concerned "it" doesn't exist!
In Lewistown, the lazy Friday after
Thanksgiving is the official launch
of the holidays. Out of towners may
rise early to grab deals but locals
prefer to sleep in. After breakfast at
the Empire, they return home to put
up their holiday decor. Unless the
snow is too deep, they take a trip to
the mountains and cut a perfect pine.
Or a journey into the attic to rescue
and resuscitate the artificial balsam.
If not decking the halls, many spend
their day planning a warm outfit for
the evening's holiday stroll. Our Main
Street is closed with bonfires ablaze
down it's center of six blocks. All of
the shops are aglow with Christmas
lights as carolers sing and shoppers
stroll. This is real and therefore no
elements of Disney esque artifice are
allowed in this home grown tradition.
It's like taking a walk back in time.
On the way home most take a ride
out to the County Fair Grounds on
the edge of town. There a Holiday
Light Show awaits for a leisurely
drive by. Per car donations benefit
local charities. It's amazing how all
sorts of people and organizations
spend months planning and building
these illuminated extravaganzas for
the community to vote on. I realize
all of this seems rather Rockwellian
but trust me, it's as real as Santa or
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!
Over the weekend many start their
shopping in earnest. While it may
seem that our options are limited,
most try to spend locally if possible.
You may have to hunt, but chances
are you'll be able to find the perfect
gift. Not only convenient, it's easier
because our merchants wrap gifts
for free! Now doesn't that get you
into the holiday spirit?!
The final event of the post Turkey Day
weekend is the Christmas House Walk
in support of our local Hospice House.
Several homeowners open their doors
and hearts in support of this important
charity. We've already been approached
about putting the restored Passion Pit
on the tour next year. Sorry kids, the
last thing we want are several hundred
traipsing through our things. A check
will have to suffice! HO HO HO!