Cheerful, warm and bright
● By Steven Hoffman
From the gleeful children lining up to meet Santa Claus and the joyous performances of Christmas carols to the beautifully decorated storefronts and the live Nativity in front of the Oxford Presbyterian Church that reminded everyone of the reason for the season, Oxford was aglow with the holiday spirit during the Country Christmas celebration on Dec. 7.
As Mayor Lorraine Bell said just moments before lighting the town Christmas tree, Oxford resembled one of those too-good-to-be-true towns in a Hallmark movie.
One of the early highlights of the evening was the arrival of Santa Claus. Children shared their Christmas wishes and had their pictures taken with Santa at KVIS & Coe Insurance. Children also enjoyed making crafts at Santa’s Workshop.
There were family-friendly events throughout town as businesses and restaurants planned special activities and offerings for the festive occasion.
Family and friends gathered to share food and drink at the Octoraro Hotel & Tavern, La Sicilia, the SawMill Grill, Avocados from Mexico, and at Flickerwood Wine. Beer enthusiasts enjoyed their favorite beverages at the Bog Turtle Brewery and Hollow Earth Brewery, both featuring delicious, local beers. At Pickled Pickles, people could shop or sample food and drink by M&M Catering and Wayvine Winery. Warm beverages and tasty treats like kettle corn were served up at Wholly Grounds.
There were hayrides and carriage rides to enjoy, thanks to sponsorships from businesses like The Soap Bucket and The Outback Trading Company.
The Oxford Arts Alliance once again featured the Artisan Gift Shop, where shoppers could find many one-of-a-kind gifts.
There was music throughout the evening. The Christian Life Center Band, the Lincoln University Concert Choir, the Bethany Christian School, and Sacred Heart School all performed Christmas favorites for the crowd. The Lincoln University Concert Choir led the crowd in a performance of “Silent Night.”
Bell, with the help of two local children, led the countdown to the lighting of the town Christmas Tree, which drew loud applause from everyone who had gathered around.
Bell said that Oxford was like one of those too-good-to-be-true towns featured on Hallmark Christmas movies, and she was proud to be the mayor of such a town.
Bell lauded Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. (OMI), the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce, and the businesses in town for their leading roles in making the Country Christmas such a festive experience for Oxford residents and guests.
“OMI and the Chamber have done so much for Oxford.,” Bell said. “The Country Christmas is the best night of the year here. There are so many activities for children and families.”
In addition to the annual Christmas festivities, the evening was also highlighted by the opening of three new businesses in town: NĒKO Beauty Studio, the D’Amico Law office, and the the Kashmir Hookah Lounge.
Bill Carey said that he wanted to make sure that the Kashmir Hookah Lounge could debut on Market Street in time for the Country Christmas First Friday because it’s such a great event. The Kashmir Hookah Lounge’s sign was officially unveiled during the evening. Owned by Frantic Productions, LLC, the Kashmir Hookah Lounge brings something new to the downtown.
Carey said that they are already looking forward to being involved in community events, particularly the next Connective Festival that showcases music and art. Carey said that the Hookah Lounge features the artwork of Kailah Rubican, a senior at Oxford Area High School. He sees the lounge as a good place to showcase local art.
Though he’s a new business owner in town, Carey is already very familiar with Oxford.
“I know so many people in town,” Carey said. “I love Oxford.”
D’Amico Law, which has been serving southern Chester County residents at its Kennett Square office, now has a second location in downtown Oxford. The legal team includes Anita D’Amico, Jessica Socienski and Nicole Rossi. D’Amico Law handles everything from family law matters like mediation and personal injury claims to estate planning and administration, to minor criminal matters.
Officials from OMI and Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce were among those who gathered at NĒKO Beauty Studio for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. NĒKO Beauty Studio is a health and beauty boutique that is focused on green beauty. The owner is Kathleen McBride, a West Grove resident who is a stylist and a cosmetic tattooer. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field. Maggie Mae Cratty is the lead facialist. The beauty studio offers a wide variety of products and services to ensure that their clients will always look their best. The studio has an array of plant-based skincare and makeup products. Services include microblading, cosmetic tattoos, facials, customized peels, dermaplaning, brow waxing and tinting, body waxing, makeup artistry and Botox/fillers.
While the Country Christmas celebration has past for another year, there are still plenty of shopping and dining opportunities in downtown Oxford this holiday season.
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org.