(it’s never snowing in our pines!)
I was not born in Oxford, but instead grew up listening to the TIME Life Treasury of Christmas collection of CDs on the way to Oxford Christmas festivities with my Tettleton and McDaniel sides of the family. They were sticky with Coca-Cola and Skittles from years of wear and tear. I use to think it was so much colder up here in Oxford, that Oxford got so much more snow that Hattiesburg and Meridian (my homes before relocating here), but I’ve learned now that’s not necessarily true.
In recent years, I have built my own playlist of songs that help me celebrate Christmas on Spotify, and can actually find those original old albums on there too. I’ve also learned that while traditions are great, trying new activities is really my cup of tea. Oxford is certainly filled with a plethora of holiday options to fill your calendar—kudos to anyone who tries to hit everything this December!
For the Christmas Traditionalist
Taking your kids to get photos with Santa is an age old tradition, and Visit Oxford doesn’t want the kids of Oxford to miss out just because we don’t have a mall! They host two more “Santa visits” at Visit Oxford: December 14 from 2–4 pm and December 21 from 10 am–noon.
Jumping on the same sleigh,the Saturday Santa sightings continue with Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and Chick-fil-A’s annual Breakfast with Santa at The Powerhouse from 8–9:15 am and 9:45–11 am on December 14.
And of course, the Ford Center’s Holiday Village with the 10th Annual Gingerbread Village is happening now until December 18. The Village features the Miniature Christmas Village display and a section celebrating other December holiday traditions. There will also be a visit from Santa and scheduled story times with special guest readers. For a full schedule, visit https://fordcenter.org/event/holiday-village/ .
The Village is free and open to the public. The Holiday Village supports local food banks. Visitors to the Village are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate. The Village will be open daily. Group visits to the Village may be scheduled on weekdays, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. To schedule a group visit, call 662-915-6502 or email email@example.com.
If caroling is more your style, venture out to the scenic Plein Air in Taylor for Carols in the Chapel on Sunday, December 15 from 5–6 pm.
For the Arts
The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) yearly host many different exhibits and educational arts events for people of all ages. This year, YAC is hosting two art events, including Santa’s Elves Workshop on December 23 and Winter Wonderland Art Camp on January 2 and 3, all at The Powerhouse.
YAC also hosts one of my favorite events of the year—The Holiday Ornament Auction on December 13 from 6–9 pm—which is much more than it sounds. Free for all active YAC members, the evening includes a silent auction style exhibit of ornaments made by local artists on display, paired with tasting booths from local restaurants and caterers. There is also a featured Jere Allen piece this year, with separate tickets that can be purchased in advance. Throw in some live music and photos with Santa, and this makes for a great one-stop holiday event!
An exciting new YAC event is the Lucky Finds Market on December 14 from 10am–6pm at the new Lafayette County Multi-purpose Arena. Vendors can purchase a booth for only $10 to share their antiques, cottage goods, and handmade items, or offer a single item for sale at the Lucky Finds Consignment Booth.
For those Looking for Something Different
nowAWAKEnow with Susannah Furr is holding an exciting experience called Winter Solstice Sound Alchemy to welcome the return of the light on the shortest day of the year at the beginning of the Winter Solstice. Susannah plays the crystal singing bowls while leading a guided meditative journey, resulting in an extraordinary state of relaxation, clarity, and peace.The event will be held on December 21 from 6:30–8 pm at Southern Star Yoga.
For the Libations
On Tuesday, December 17, City Grocery and Wonderbird Spirits are throwing a Tacky Sweater Christmas Party, featuring David Swider from the End of All Music playing the tunes from 7:30 till 11:30 pm at the upstairs bar.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate the season, take time to slow down and enjoy the family and friends who mean the most to you. It doesn’t cost a dime to walk on the Square and enjoy the gorgeous lights our city puts up, or to make someone’s day with a kind hello.