Let parades, festivities put us in a Christmas frame of mind

The Christmas season is upon us, and while some may find myriad reasons to sit back and have the Ebenezer Scrooge attitude about this most wonderful time of the year, we urge residents to think more like Tiny Tim instead, allowing the magic that Sampson County offers transform you.

Let’s celebrate the season as it should be celebrated — enjoying the company of family, friends and co-workers, worshipping according to our faith, sharing the gifts we can give and relishing in the festivities that will, no doubt, transform us from the bah-humbug thoughts of yesterday into the Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas hopes of today.

Among the many ways locally to infuse ourselves with the holiday spirit is joining in the fun of annual Christmas parades and other seasonal festivities being offered throughout the county.

Newton Grove kicked off the holiday season in style earlier this week with the Circle of Lights. That is followed tonight by Christmas in the City, events that never disappoint, delivering the magic of the season by the sleigh load. The fun will continue in a couple of days with Newton Grove’s annual Christmas parade, which is being held Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10.m. and Garland’s Christmas in the Park, also Saturday, Dec. 3, from noon until 8 p.m.

And that’s just the beginning of festivities that include live nativities at churches around the area (check our Friday Faith & Family section to see where they are being held), Christmas cantatas and, of course, the remainder of the parades.

Roseboro’s night parade steps off Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.

And, of course, on Saturday, Dec. 10, beginning at 10 a.m., Sampson’s largest and oldest parade, the annual Clinton Christmas Parade, will regale watchers with colorful floats, entertaining bands and an appearance by Santa, who will make his way to his downtown house where he will keep hours through Christmas Eve.

We hope you will enjoy one or all of these events, allowing them to fill you with the spirit of the season.

And don’t forget to go Christmas shopping — locally. Just strolling through the aisles of some of our downtown stores will put you in the holiday spirit, and taking time to visit other local shops around Clinton and Sampson County, as well as in the local shopping centers, looking at their decorations and listening to their Christmas music, will help lift your spirits and have you humming even as you head to your cars.

And, after the shopping and the parades, don’t forget to take in one of the many Christmas cantatas, children’s Christmas plays and live nativities that are being held from now until Dec. 25.

It will remind us why we really celebrate this most magical and wonderful time of year.

Then before you know it, the Christmas spirit will have filled your soul, you’ll be kinder without even realizing why and you’ll smile more … just because.

And like Scrooge you’ll be repeating Tiny Tim’s words, and meaning them — God bless us everyone.