Oxford shines during joyful Country Christmas celebration
● By Steven Hoffman
The streets of Oxford were filled with Christmas cheer last Friday night as friends and neighbors gathered for the annual Oxford Country Christmas celebration that included carriage rides, strolling carolers, plenty of children’s activities, a visit from Santa, and the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree.
“What a great night tonight,” Mayor Geoff Henry commented just moments before he flipped the switch to light up the town’s Christmas tree. The Grinch—that bad banana who has garlic in his soul—promptly turned the lights off, but Henry saved the Christmas celebration by chasing away the heel and turning the tree lights back on.
Oxford’s small town charm is on full display during the annual Country Christmas event, and the sights and sounds of the season were everywhere. The Oxford Presbyterian Church staged, for the second year in a row, a live Nativity on The Green, a nice reminder of the real reason for the Christmas season. Buddy the Elf was outside Wholly Grounds, congratulating the shop on having the best coffee in the world. Children got to share their Christmas wishes with Santa Claus. After arriving in town on a fire truck, Santa posed for pictures with kids at Oxford Odds & Ends.
Children enjoyed rides up and down Third Street on a train called the Funtastix Express, while families took carriage rides around town.
For people looking to enjoy some food or a glass of wine, the Sawmill Grill and Flickerwood Wine Cellars were popular spots. Shops like the Candy Case, the Outback Trading Company, and Millstone Jewelers helped those looking to get a little holiday shopping accomplished.
At the Oxford Arts Alliance, visitors could choose from the wide variety of artwork that was available in the artisan gift shop.
The Christmas Shop was once again open this year. Flossi Prewitt, the chairperson of the Neighborhood Services Center’s thrift shop, explained that items are donated to the thrift shop throughout the year. The Christmas items are sold at the Christmas Shop that is set up each holiday season, with all the proceeds going to benefit the Neighborhood Services Center. Prewitt said that the goal this year is to raise $6,000 at the Christmas Shop.
Singer Jamie Marie led the crowd through a selection of Christmas favorites, concluding the set with a gleeful “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.” Children really enjoyed the “Frozen” favorite, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
The stores were beautifully decorated to welcome the large crowd that turned out for the event.
Randy Grace, a borough council member, was eager for the Maroon Hornet, one of Oxford’s newest businesses, to be open for its first Country Christmas. Customers of all ages were perusing the selection of Captain America, Star Wars, Walking Dead, and Batman comic books.
“This is my favorite First Friday of the year,” Grace said, explaining that he likes to see families coming together for the Christmas celebration in a small town. “It brings it back to what Christmas is all about.”
Many different businesses and individuals contributed to the Country Christmas.
Henry thanked the Oxford Community Enhancements organization for donating the Christmas lights for the lamp posts. The donation was made in memory of Oxford Community Enhancements founder Buddy McCoury. Henry also thanked Oatman Tree Service for decorating the town Christmas tree.
Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI) once again took the lead in planning the Country Christmas celebration. A few of the sponsors for Oxford Country Christmas included the chiropractic services of Dr. Douglas Fasick and Dr. Andrew Rickard, Flickerwood Wine Cellars, Ira Binder, Attorney at Law, Herr Foods, Oxford Area Senior Center, Oxford Feed & Lumber, and Servpro.