I have had the opportunity to live in several different communities and it is always neat to see how a neighborhood or town celebrates Christmas.
The holidays are all about tradition and often locals don’t see those time-honored events for what they really mean to the community.
Clarksdale is no different.
I repeatedly hear businessmen, politicians and economic development folk talk about quality of life.
It is an abstract term that is hard to define. But I think we all know it when we see it.
Here are a few that make Christmas in Clarksdale special.
We drove through downtown in all its holiday glory Tuesday night. It really is a Christmas gem.
The snowflakes on telephones poles, recently trimmed holly trees and of course the store windows decked out with Christmas decorations were part of the experience.
The forecast calls for beautiful weather over the next few weeks and I don’t think we will see a white Christmas in the Delta. Those snowflakes on the poles downtown will do just fine.
And this was my first Clarksdale Christmas Parade and we were pleasantly pleased.
Downtown was packed with people and the Chamber pulled out all the stops. The fireworks were a nice touch and a crowd favorite.
I don’t think people realize how labor intensive a parade can be. Getting floats, marching units, cars and elected officials to line up and roll through downtown takes time, patient and people with a holiday spirit.
You can become jaded and cynical in this business. The parade put a smile on my face.
And did you see Page One of today’s Clarksdale Press Register? Santa Claus was downtown Tuesday night!
I hope you didn’t miss him.
If you missed Clarksdale’s Christmas Open House, I’m sorry. Aside from the music, decorations and snacks I found at every store, there was one shop with a big 40-percent off special.
I’m big on shopping at home. That was a purchase I couldn’t pass up.
Merchants in Clarksdale are the grease that oils the local economy around here. Most of them advertise in this newspaper.
I once heard an economist say if every home in any given community would spend $50 extra dollars with a local merchant, that town would have a successful Christmas shopping season.
I think we can all find a store around here to spend $50 extra dollars with before we go to the malls in Memphis.
No, not every gift found under the Ingram Christmas tree will be from a local business, but every gift I buy will be bought from a local merchant.
I have always said if I can make Sara smile on Christmas morning it has been a good year.
The first year we were married I bought her an electric skillet. She smiled and kissed me on the cheek, but her heart was not in it. I never did that again.
Buy a man a wrench, a drill or gadget and he is happy. I love tools, flashlights and outdoor gear. I give those kinds of gifts to my boys. It makes them happy, too.
But Sara demands romance. Her gift has to be carefully chosen and it must fit just right.
The cost is not always important but it does need to prove how much I value her. More than anything, time and preparation have to be invested in this purchase.
We have been married for 31 years. Making Sara smile is one of the joys of Christmas.
I hope you will take in one of the Christmas cantatas or musicals offered at local churches this holiday season. Several are advertised in today’s Clarksdale Press Register.
As much as I like decorating a Christmas tree, buying a gift for those I love or spending time with family and friends, I learned a long time ago the real reason for Christmas is Jesus. Without Him the holiday is hollow.
The world turns away from that name more and more each Christmas that I live.
I will be the first to say I have chased making memories and material things trying to have a Merry Christmas. It just doesn’t work.
We’ve got three weeks to go. Let me be the first to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.
Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarkdale Press Register. You can wish him Merry Christmas via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org