For many, the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of Christmas. It finally becomes socially acceptable to engage in all activities synonymous with the holidays. I like to hang up the lights, put Elf on repeat and sip Latin hot cocoa while I plan my visit home.
The time is also when I begin to create all of the gifts I’ve been planning to make for months. This year I’ll give out Christmas cards, candied nuts and knitted mittens far before Christmas Day because I can never wait to gift the things I’ve made.
In addition to all of my solitary holiday preparations, each year I make a point to attend community productions and festivities that celebrate the holidays.
The holiday parade is essential to Christmas spirit. This year, the arctic temperatures didn’t seem to matter as the crowds still gathered to watch the fire departments, bands and local businesses march on Main Street in Stevens Point.
I recently attended Toast to the Nutcracker, a community production at Sentry @1800 Theater. The presentation was refreshing as a classic production was transformed into something more contemporary and jazzy.
Brad Dallman, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point freshman, played horn with the UWSP Jazz Ensemble during the show.
“The show definitely brought about the Christmas spirit. In my opinion nothing signals Christmas better than a live show. Back home there was the Green Bay Symphony Holiday Pop’s concert, and this year we were lucky to have this wonderful production. It was very hard leaving Sentry without a smile knowing that Christmas was on its way,” Dallman said.
The pieces kept me humming for hours and I couldn’t get the beautiful ballet sequences out of my head. I left the theatre with an even greater appreciation for Hoffman’s original novel, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King.
Now that Thanksgiving has passed and our bellies are sufficiently stuffed, we are able to devote ourselves to the next season.
Stores and restaurants will undoubtedly begin playing the holiday music if they haven’t already been doing so. Houses will be finished with lights and retailers will be busier than they have been all year.
As for further upcoming events in the Stevens Point area, I will be attending as many as I possibly can. Although squeezing something extra into a busy student schedule isn’t always easy, I make an effort to do something simply for myself each week.
During November and December, I will attempt to surround myself with the cheer and happiness of the season, including holiday shops and socials with Santa.
This coming Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. until noon, you will be able to return to your childhood during the event, Breakfast with Santa. The breakfast will be held in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room and is free to UWSP students with an ID, or $6 without.
The Amherst Village Christmas will also be hosting a free event on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. which is sure to bring out a little holiday spirit in even the biggest Scrooges.Held on Main Street in Amherst, the event includes gift shopping, a craft show at the Jensen Center, and live music and poetry at the Tomorrow River Gallery.
If you have not latched on to the cheer just yet, it’s time. Bake some gingerbread cookies, watch a holiday flick, blast some jazzy Christmas tunes and soak up the holiday cheer.