Or Holiday Open House, whichever you prefer. It’s the time of year when the chill wind of winter is breathing right down Main Street in Murphys, when shopkeepers keep their doors open after dark to welcome visitors in from the cold with seasonal greetings and warm smiles. It’s the time for folks to bundle up their little ones in fluffy coats, hats and scarves, and fellowship with friends and neighbors as they wander around and through the downtown area, sipping mulled wine, coffee or cocoa with gloved hands as their frozen breath hovers before them.
Personally, this is my favorite local activity in which to participate. It is held on the first Friday in December every year without fail. We typically begin our trek at Murphys Realty at the corner of Highway 4 and Big Trees Rd. (at the stop light) right around 5 pm. The office is usually bustling with activity and chock full of treats and hors d’oeuvres at that time. We chat and visit for a while, munching on pecan cookies or chips, veggies and dip, then meet up with friends and/or family and head down Big Trees Road toward Main Street. Once we get there, our hands and ears are already starting to numb up, but that’s nothing some mittens and a scarf can’t fix. The event is free to the public, and Main Street is closed to vehicle traffic starting just after 5 pm to allow for pedestrians only. Santa leads a children’s parade down Main Street starting at 5:30 to kick off the festivities. After the parade, Santa lights the town Christmas tree, then he and Mrs. Claus can usually be found for a while at the Native Sons Hall, posing for pictures with the kids and enjoying the company of those who stop by to say Hi.
As you wander down toward the Murphys Hotel, the sweet sound of caroling voices and aroma of chestnuts truly roasting over an open fire blends with the chilly nip of the air to create a memory capable of being recalled for years to come. Stop in to this or that shop to say hi and see what sort of treats await your taste buds. Laugh out loud as you watch the antics of the costumed canines in their jingling harnesses and Santa caps cavorting through town with their masters. Maybe even dress your own pooch for the occasion and bring him or her along too!
I hope you plan on joining us for the Holiday Open House this year on December 6th at 5 pm, and in years to come – the more the merrier! 🙂