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Why there’s nothing better than Christmas in North Ga.

POSTED: December 22, 2013 1:00 a.m.

(A version of this column originally ran in The Times Dec. 25, 1991.)

A curled-up cat, a lazy dog.
A fireplace burning a hickory log.
That’s Christmas for me.
A Christmas card from a long-lost friend.

A telephone greeting from distant kin.
Squirming kids seeing Santa at the mall.
Pearce Auditorium and Yonah Hall.
That’s Christmas for me.

Tiny white lights on Green Street places.
Secret Santa lighting up anxious faces.
Mayor’s Motorcade, the Love Light Tree.
Good News feeding the needy.
That’s Christmas for me.

Breakfast with Santa and Toys for Tots,
Civic clubs minding their Christmas tree lots.
Decorations adorning the downtown square.
Lines at the post office and everywhere.

The Rotary Tree with lots of lights.
A stocking full of Yule delights.
The radio playing a Christmas song.
A single string of lights on a mobile home.
That’s Christmas for me.

Church choirs belting out Handel’s “Messiah.”
Wrapping presents by a roaring fire.
“Nutcracker” and the Gainesville Ballet.
Yards aglow with their lights display.
The aroma from a kitchen baking holiday treats
For neighbors living along their streets.
That’s Christmas for me.

Babyland General’s traditional tree,
Helen brightly shining in White County.
A stroll around Dahlonega town.
A fading old ornament handed down.
Parties aplenty at every school.
Worn-out store clerks trying to keep their cool.

People tromping through a Christmas tree farm.
Kettle volunteers trying to keep warm.
First Baptist’s living Christmas tree.
A mail truck making a delivery.
A car full of kids with a tree in the back.
A candle in the window of a tumble-down shack.
That’s Christmas for me.

The Chrismon Tree, the advent wreath.
“All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
From mountain cabin to country club manor,
Everybody home in time for Santa.
“Silent Night, Holy Night,”
Sung in church by candlelight.
That’s Christmas for me.

Johnny Vardeman is retired editor of The Times. He can be reached at 2183 Pinetree Circle NE, Gainesville, GA 30501. His column appears Sundays and at gainesvilletimes.com/johnny.


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