It’s funny how much I’ve been able to notice a complete shift in the attitudes and priorities of my neighbors now that election season is over.
I was glad to see some extra revenue for the paper with all of the political advertisements and I was very excited to see so many people flock to the polls last week.
It’s crazy to me that it was really just last week that I sat on the edge of my seat waiting to hear the results of the local elections and, of course, of the presidential election.
I guess that’s why I’ve noticed the huge shift I mentioned earlier.
I’ve spent the last week chasing down contacts and information about all the things happening around the county for the holiday season.
I have to say when I sat down to make a list I was shocked to find there is so much going on locally.
In the past I’ve only worked here for the summer and the one year I stayed through the winter, I only worked on layout.
This will be the very first time I’ll be experiencing all of the traditions my neighbors and co-workers have grown up around.
I haven’t ever been one of those people that gets excited about the lights, the music and the decorations that come with the holidays, especially Christmas.
I have always stood firm with my rule that you absolutely can’t celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving is over.
I find that my focus and beliefs have shifted since I’ve moved out on my own. I am excited beyond belief to decorate my house and put up my very first Christmas tree in my new home.
I am even more excited to start celebrating the holidays Estill County-style.
Even though I’ve only been here for less than a year, I have felt very welcome in my new community and I’m sure that feeling will continue into the holidays.
Everyone I’ve spoken to in the last several days about holiday celebrations has been so excited to invite me to their events. I feel very blessed to live in a community that gets so excited about coming together for the holidays.
One of the best parts of my job, is that I am forced to step out of my comfort zone and attend events I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed trying new things in Irvine and Ravenna. The holidays will be no different, I’m sure.
In this week’s paper we talk a lot about the exciting, emotional and generous things going on in our community in the coming weeks.
I want to take the time to talk about a few that have stood out for me. Hopefully I’ll see some of my readers at the events and I’ll be able to use them as opportunities to meet more people and make more friends.
This week I had the pleasure of talking with the Future Business Leaders of America advisor at Estill County High School, Connie Witt. She told me all about Light Up Rivertown and the annual Lighting of the Tree Ceremony.
I’ve been thinking ever since how beautiful it’s going to be to see the town all lit up for the very first time in my life.
I also had the chance to hear the emotional stories of a couple of people that volunteer with the Will Wise Toy Drive.
Although I never knew Will, his story is one that is very close to my heart. As a young reporter I had to write the story about Will’s accident and death. It wasn’t easy for me as someone just a couple of years older than him.
I think the toy drive in his memory is a great cause and perfect way of honoring the young man that everyone remembers as gentle, caring and friendly.
I’m also excited to participate for the first time in covering the Kiwanis Christmas Parade and the Elizabeth Witt Christmas Party.
I got to meet with some nice ladies who helped wrap presents for the party and Francine Bonny shared some of the history of the party and it’s early years.
I can’t wait to see all the smiling faces of the little kids at the party, on top of the fact I’ve never actually seen a Christmas Parade before.
There’s also the Estill Arts Council Craft Show with stuff from local artists and the Community Chorus is supposed to have a pretty great show later in December.
We’re also celebrating here at the CV&T. We’ll have our Santa Letters in the paper next month and we’re asking our readers to tell us some of their favorite Christmas memories.
There’s so much more I can’t even begin to list them all. I’m sure I’ll have some columns detailing my first holiday experiences as an Estill Countian later.
Until then, Happy Holidays Estill County! I hope to see you around.