This weekend marks the annual Festival off Main celebration in downtown Thomson.
It begins Friday night with Santa's arrival and the lighting of the city's Christmas tree at 6:15 p.m. in front of the Depot. There'll be good food, performances by local elementary school students and pictures with Santa.
Saturday's activities kick off at 9 a.m. with the Depot Dash, followed by Breakfast with Santa at 10 a.m. The actual festival - complete with great vendors, rides for the kids, art exhibitions, concerts (including the Crosstie Walkers) and even more food - runs until 5 p.m., just in time for the Christmas parade to begin.
I'm excited about this year's parade: It's the first year for an evening parade, where floats will be covered in lights as they glide through the cool December air.
It all adds up to one of the wonderful events that make our community unique.
And there's no reason you should not be there to help make it even better.
Meanwhile, 'tis the season to be busy. I almost feel like I need a holiday from the holidays.
With football games, various holiday events and an ever-growing "honey-do" list, it's hard to take time to actually enjoy the holidays, let alone stop and smell the Fraser firs.
And in my house, there is no Christmas scent.
For the first time in my life, the tree in my living room is a fake - the result of seven years of holiday battles with my wife. Heck, even all the wreaths around my house are artificial. I've spent weeks looking for Christmas tree scented candles, potpourri, anything. And I've struck out all around. The closest thing has been a candle that smells more like a burnt forest than anything else. (It was called "Christmas Spice." I guess "Scorched Earth" probably wouldn't have sold as well.)
Anyway, I do have a confession to make: For all my whining and protesting, I am very happy with the new artificial tree. It came pre-lit so I saved hours stringing stands of lights around it. We don't have to water it, and it doesn't shed. And none of that counts how potentially easy it will be to take down and store.
Now if I could only get used to that "Plastic for the Holidays" smell. Maybe they make it in a candle.
Aside from the Christmas tree potpourri, my Christmas wish list is slowly coming together.
And I've got a little help.
In this week's edition of The Mirror, Staff Writer Lynn Davidson looks at several gift opportunities that have a distinct McDuffie County feel, from wine from the 1810 Country Inn and Winery to CDs from former Dearing Elementary music teacher Jim McGaw.
The list isn't comprehensive, obviously, but it's a pretty good start. If you know of something you think should be on the list, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're open to all suggestions, and we'll try to include several in upcoming editions of The Mirror.