For me, Christmas means spending extra quality time with your loved ones, feeling all warm and cozy, and being grateful for who and what you have. There’s nothing quite like sitting by the fire with your family reminiscing about old times, snacking on homemade Christmas cookies and candy, and waking up on Christmas morning for a cup of coffee with the one you love (or to your children screaming excitedly).
My most vivid memories from Christmas are from my grandmother, Nellie’s house. She loved Christmas more than anyone I’ve ever known. You could count on her to be up before the sun was, just cooking away in one of her famous Christmas sweaters.
Her house was decorated to the nines, my favorite part being her homemade Christmas ornaments. The same ornaments that hang on my tree as I write this. She made the most intricately beautiful ornaments and crocheted Christmas tree-skirts, gave them as gifts to her children, and spoiled her grandchildren with what she could afford.
With my Dad’s side of the family dwindling, and me still being the baby, we have no children to spoil. We grow closer, and cling to togetherness more than the presents and the treats.
Looking back on the Christmases of my childhood, my excitement now has grown for things other than presents, (Don’t get me wrong, I still love presents!) and swelled so big for my family and friends that I almost can’t stand it until the celebration starts. Now, all I want is to relax in my decorated home, that is hopefully up to Nellie’s standards, enjoy my loved ones for as long as I can, and experience the magic that is Laurel at Christmastime.
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas
Laurel has always been special during the holidays, with all of our sweet traditions and decorations, but I believe that this year has been the most beautiful yet. Not only have we had an amazing snow day already so early in the season, but snow is still on the ground, and there’s a wintery chill in the air. (It’s not hot!)
With our Downtown merchants, we’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, The Market Beautiful, and Christmas Open House, which were all exciting and bustling, with many merchants and eateries having their best sales to date. Our businesses have gone above and beyond, offering anything and everything we could need for Christmas gifts, launching special sales, and giving away free cookies and photos with Santa.
The City of Laurel, Laurel Main Street, and plenty of other sponsors and organizations have gifted us with The Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting, Pancake Day, and the Annual Laurel Christmas Parade. Let me tell you, every event was absolutely magical.
Just strolling through Downtown Laurel and the Historic District gives me chills. Our streets are lit with beautiful lights, there are Christmas trees in almost every yard and window, the merchants have incredible Christmas displays, and First Methodist has it’s lit angels hanging from the trees.
Here’s some special memories from current and former Laurelites! (Thank y’all for contributing!)
At Lott Furniture Co., we know that this season we are planning on spending more time at home with our friends and families, and taking the time to get involved with Christmas events Downtown!
On December 22, from 5-8 PM we hope that you will join the Downtown merchants and eateries for a very special Christmas after-hours event. Most business will offer extended hours and special events. Lott Furniture Co. and The Laurel Leaf are sponsoring a Nativity Scene in Maker’s Alley, Laurel Mercantile Co. will be projecting The Polar Express on the side of their building, and HAND+made will host a special craft and Christmas photo-op. There are more activities and special updates to come, so keep your eyes on ours and the other merchants’ social media!
This event is perfect for last minute Christmas shopping, or just a fun event to bring your holiday company to!
Remember, this Holiday season is so important to #shopsmall. There is a Downtown Laurel business with a gift for just about everyone, and when you spend money locally, your dollars are going back into our community. That means that you can help a neighbor put presents under their tree, instead of contributing to a stranger or corporation.
We know that sometimes Amazon is a must, so if you do shop Amazon, use AmazonSmile to benefit Laurel Main Street! (When you buy with AmazonSmile, a percentage of your purchase is donated to Laurel Main Street.)
Thank you customers, neighbors, and friends for your constant support and encouragement. All of us at Lott Furniture Co. wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And, we’ll see you December 22!
And a special thanks to the folks in the “Old Laurel (Mississippi) Memories” Facebook group for sharing their memories and photos! (GayBeth Houston Kelley, Jackie Lynn Perkinson, Ronnie Gross, Mickey Merrell, Debbie Jones Patterson, Vickie McCarty Sisk, Stacy McCraw Stanton, Fred Kressman, James Bonney, Donna Oglesby, and Jim Rasberry)
-Keri Rowell, Lott Furniture Co.
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Keri Rowell is part of Downtown Laurel’s most historic business, Lott Furniture Co. A Laurel native and Historic District resident, Keri enjoys exploring all of the beautiful spaces and places in her Home Town, discovering the hidden tales buried deep within its history, and sharing them with the world. When you visit Downtown Laurel, you might just spot her out exploring, dreaming up the next story to share with you.