Enjoy the season Sampson style

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 than the Grinch, allowing the magic that Sampson County offers this time of you to 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 events like parades and other seasonal festivities being offered throughout the county.

Newton Grove will kick off the holiday season in style Monday with its annual Circle of Lights. The town’s circle will be illumniated by twinkling lights adorning beautiful trees in honor and in memory of family and friends. It ushers in the holiday season in Sampson followed by Roseboro’s tree lighting ceremony, being held on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. Now in its second year, Roseboro’s event only adds to the exciting festitivites families can enjoy leading up to Christmas.

Those two holiday events will be followed by the first parades in Sampson, annual ones for Newton Grove and Harrells, both which will step off Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.

That will be followed the next week with Clinton’s Christmas in the City, being held Thursday, Dec. 7, and Garland’s Christmas tree lighting in Rotary Park, being held from 6 until 8 p.m. Both are events that never disappoint, delivering the magic of the season by the sleigh load.

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. 8, at 7 p.m., the 13th year of that town’s special evening celebration.

And, of course, on Saturday, Dec. 9, 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.