Christmas in the ‘best small town in the country’
● By Steven Hoffman
Moments before he flipped the switch to light the town’s Christmas tree, Mayor Geoff Henry declared that, in his humble opinion, Oxford is “the best small town in the country.”
Who would have argued the point on a night when the community came together for an evening filled with festivities and fun during the annual Oxford Country Christmas celebration? No event illustrates Oxford’s small town charm more than the Country Christmas, and the sights and sounds of the season were everywhere in downtown Oxford on Dec. 4.
Children lined up at the Coatesville Savings Bank to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and to share their Christmas wish lists and have their pictures taken with jolly old St. Nick and his better half.
With the town Christmas tree lit, singer Jamie Marie led the crowd in singing Christmas carols, including a rousing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” followed by a gorgeous rendition of “Silent Night.”
Children enjoyed rides up and down Third Street on a train called the Funtastix Express. Families and friends also enjoyed carriage rides on this beautiful December night.
There was a scavenger hunt that took participants to numerous businesses around town, including Flickerwood Wine Cellars, Odds and Ends, Texture Salon & Spa, the Sawmill Grill, J & K Slightly Touched, Soap Bucket Skincare and Candles, and Oxford Feed and Lumber.
Dancers from the Oxford Center for Dance performed as characters from “The Nutcracker” in the front windows of the Outback Trading Company.
The Oxford Presbyterian Church hosted a live nativity on The Green, a fitting reminder of the real reason for the Christmas season. The fact that there was a camel in town didn’t go unnoticed.
One person was overheard to say, “I’ve been here all my life and I’ve never seen a camel in Oxford before.”
At the Oxford Arts Alliance, visitors like Karen Bridges enjoyed the wide variety of artwork that was available in the artisan gift shop.
Bridges, who does watercolors herself, said that she was impressed by the ideas and creativity of the artists whose work was featured in the artisan gift shop.
Oxford’s business owners were pleased with the Christmas celebration. Jerome Rodio, the owner of J & K Slightly Touched, had two artists and three authors showcasing their works in his shop. Rodio said that the Oxford Country Christmas, which is planned by Oxford Mainstreet, Inc., is his favorite event each year.
For Cheryl and Jeff Ham, this was the first Country Christmas as the owners of their coffee shop, Wholly Grounds, which opened in September. Cheryl said that they were looking forward to serving up coffee, hot chocolate, lattes, and more during the Country Christmas.
“I love all things Christmas,” Cheryl explained. “There are a lot of activities for families.”
A sign outside the shop proclaimed that no less of an authority than Buddy the Elf himself has said that a cup of Wholly Grounds coffee is the best thing in the world.
Henry said that this was the 12th Country Christmas celebration in Oxford, and the event keeps getting bigger and better each year. It is certainly a good way to showcase the businesses in the downtown, and a festive way to usher in the holiday season.