The family and I spent our evening in downtown Greeneville as the town kicked off the Christmas season with the lighting of the town tree. It was billed as a bazaar. Lots of downtown businesses were open. Some folks set up stands selling produce, “magic reindeer food,” “snowman poop,” and mistletoe. You could pet some llamas, take a carriage ride or go the historic General Morgan Inn to listen to carolers in vintage costumes and drink hot chocolate.
After a prayer by a local minister, the horse-drawn carriage arrived with Father and Mother Christmas. A nice old couple in long red velvet robes lined with fur. Father Christmas carried a staff with evergreen boughs and sleigh bells on it. Candles were handed out and lit. We sang “Joy to the World.”
Father Christmas greeted the crowd, posed for photos and then began his schtick.
He announced that he was going to cast a spell on the tree. He marched around it three times, yelling “Merry Christmas” in English, Spanish and French.
It was all very Pagan. He touched his staff to the tree to light it. But the vagaries of modern technology being what they are, the tree didn’t light on the first try. Or the second.
We handed back our candles, petted some llamas, bought some mistletoe and headed over to the inn for some cocoa. It was actually a very nice way to start the holiday season.
I just wish I had worn my derby.