It’s beginning to look like Christmas at our house

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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By:  Leila Case

A sign in front of a shop I visited last week announced, “Four Saturdays until Christmas!” In other words you better shake a turkey leg and get moving on your Christmas shopping and for everything else that goes with the holidays.

So I came out denial and put first things first; the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.  I sure didn’t want a Charlie Brown look-a-like.

Having heard there is a shortage of trees this year I contacted John McNeill at JAM Spread on Middle River Road who always stocks beautiful Fraser firs, my tree of choice. I called before going and John said they had plenty – so I enlisted my son, Mark, who has a trusty white truck for his help in hauling the tree home should I be successful in finding the very thing.

This was two days before Thanksgiving and I thought it would be wise to buy a Christmas tree while there was a good selection on the local market. I didn’t want a tree from a grocery or a big box store. I wanted the real deal – a tree that didn’t shed needles if you looked at it hard.

When Mark and I drove up at JAM Spread, I was delighted to see they the large selection of beautiful seven-foot-tall Fraser firs, the height I needed.

Mark and I perused the trees, closely inspecting each one. Does it have a straight trunk and stand tall and regal? Full branches and most of all perfectly shaped? And indeed we were successful. We found the tree that passed my requirements and wanted to go with me to grace the corner of the living room.

John and Mark loaded the tree in his truck and we headed back to the house. I helped him unload and Bruce assisted us in moving furniture.

Several days later John Barrett brought the boxes with all the other Christmas paraphernalia out of the attic that I use to decorate and now I’m waiting to get the lights strung on the 2020 tree that is probably the prettiest Christmas tree we’ve ever had.

Meanwhile, as I wait I enjoyed shopping local on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and found wonderful and beautiful gifts at shops in downtown Americus.

Cash registers were ringing and I was able to check a few things off my list at Pointer Mercantile, The Kinnebrew Co. and the newly opened gift and interior design business, Fox & Fowler at 106 North Jackson St.

Lydia Ann Fowler, an Americus native is the daughter of Burton and Elaine Thomas and she is married to John Fowler. They have two school age children. Lydia Ann has a degree in interior design and she is putting this skill to work at Fox & Fowler. She has a unique selection of beautiful merchandise that is tastefully displayed throughout the store. I wanted it all.

On opening day her mom Elaine and sister, Rachel Thomas Shealy, were helping customers make selections and gift wrapping. I enjoyed visiting with them and others, including Ann Hart, Kimberly Hart and toddler daughter, Dolly Hooks, Rosemary Hooks and Janet Kinnebrew. Others I saw downtown were Sydney Hayes, Joyce Buchanan and daughter, Jennifer DeLong, Courtney Minnix, Hailey Minnix, Christine Argo and Megan Pilcher Youngblood. And I enjoyed chatting with Megan McNeill Carson of Troy, Alabama, who was helping her dad John McNeill at JAM Spread.

I’ve informed you about our grandchildren in this space before so it’s time for an update.  Caroline, our registered nurse, who has been on the frontline caring for COVID-19 patients at Kennestone Wellstar in metro Atlanta has moved to Billings, Montana, where she’ll be doing the same thing at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Goodness, that’s a long way from here. Caroline and Brenden, her rescue dog, drove cross country and safely arrived last Saturday, seeing the countryside up close. What a wonderful opportunity and adventure she has ahead. Incidentally, she is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern School of Nursing.