Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in brief.

                CHRISTMAS IN CULPEPER, VA ..... IN BRIEF                
 This year has seemingly been a banner year in Culpeper.  The outward appearances are that lots of people are shopping and the economy is on the upswing.  Spirits seem to be high.  However,  I spent very little of the actual Christmas season here in town and so my Christmas blog is briefer than usual.
One of my sons lives in Fresno, California and so we flew out of Charlottesville on December 4th to spend about ten days before we continued on to Salt Lake City to help celebrate my mother in law's 90 birthday.  When we are in Fresno in December we have a Christmas dinner with that part of the family and open our gifts to them.  We were busy busy on that trip......  AND it was cold!  Even Fresno, which would normally be in the 60s was in the 20s and 30s and believe me....the people there are not equipped with winter clothes....especially my grandkids.  In Utah it was 8 and 12 degrees some of the nights and the highs were in the 20s.   But we had a great time, especially with the four grandkids in Fresno.  I can't seem to get enough of them.   We were not back until after 10 pm on December 18th and then there was a lot to do before Christmas.  So we missed out on the great December blizzard in Culpeper....or not so great a blizzard.  But I understand there was enough snow for kids to ride down the hill behind our house. We had last minute shopping, but not much.  Then we had our other two sons and their families over for what has become a traditional early Christmas Eve dinner.  We had a great time!  Andrea, my wife, works so hard to see that everyone has a good time and a great meal (along with major contributions of the daughters in law).  Anyway.... not much time for picture taking for this blog, but what I have I will share. 

So that is how that happens!
So that's how that happens!  Since I have moved to Culpeper, one of the things I enjoy the most is the decorating of the downtown area for various holidays or seasons.  Our downtown looks so nice.....and it is as if by magic.  One day I drive through town and everything looks normal and the next day, voila...beautiful decorations.  They especially grab me at Christmas time.  I have wondered how they seem to just, poof,  appear.  I have long suspected Santa's elves, but now I know the truth.  It is the city workers (i.e. Santa's elves) who make our town so lovely.  Thanks, guys!
Thanksgiving wasn't even over when I realized that Christmas was just around the corner and I better be getting some Christmas "snapshots."  This is such a great time to go to the downtown area and just walk around and browse.  Of course it is also a great time to buy with all of the very special stores that we have there.  My wife and I went into the store that is called, "Found" and "My Secret Stash"  and found a cornucopia of candy and Christmas treats with lots of free samples.  It was all soooo tasty that we just had to make a purchase. These two ladies helped and encouraged us.  I think it is obvious that they have sparkling personalities to go with all the amazing treats available in the store. They are: Katie Silata who is a mom of three and Ana Rodriguez who began working there recently.  Drop in and see them... you won't be sorry.

 We were in Cameleer looking for a Christmas elf when I noticed this young lady checking out tree ornaments.  I could not resist taking her picture and she graciously obliged.  In chatting with her I discovered that she is a school teacher.  If you have followed my blog or my "snapshots" then you know that I have a real soft spot for teachers.  We moved to Culpeper after I retired from public education in Fairfax County.  This is Emily Wolfford and she teaches at Culpeper Middle School.  She is originally from Pennsylvania 




On my Christmas visit to the downtown area, I stopped at Harriet's General Store which I quickly discovered is one of the most eclectic and special of the cool stores in our town.  Harriet's has to be experienced.  I found a really neat glider plane that quickly took me back to my youth and that I had to buy to share with my three year old grandson.  At Thanksgiving I learned that everyone from three to fifty three wanted a turn with this glider...some even asked it I would get them one for Christmas. So we got two.   What a hit! Here is Arie Shrewsbury who along with his wife, Kate, own the store. He is standing near a very creative Christmas display and holding....ta dah!.....THE GLIDER.

This is a feel good story.  This house is owned by a gentleman named Tony who is originally from the Philippines and it is pretty spectacular.  In my opinion it is the best decorated house in Culpeper.  It has a very impressive light and sound show that is run by computer through a program  Tony made.  He has the sound broadcast so that it will play through the radios of cars that are passing by if the just dial 107.1.  The lights are synchronized with the sound.  It is so fun!  When Tony first came here he found that wanted to provide a gift for his kids and all the other kids in Culpeper.  He has done that and then some.  Tony is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and is here with two of his three sons, Carlos and Christopher.  They live on Belle Avenue right at the top of the hill.....can't miss it.

Footnote:  I feel very bad about this picture.  I had asked to have it published in my Culpeper Times piece called, "Rich Crowley's Snapshots of Culpeper" on the 19th.  While I was out of town there was some confusion and it ran the week after Christmas instead of before.  Anyway, be sure to catch this display. 

So, there we go....short and sweet.  It is such a great season of the year and it gave me the opportunity to meet more Culpeperites who are really really cool.  I hope that your season was a good one and will close here with a final: