There are few things I love more in life than the time I get to spend with my family in Indiana around the holidays.
I haven’t always appreciated this time of year for the blessing it is. In fact, since moving away from my family, friends and home state, the holiday season has taken on a whole new meaning for me.
As a college graduate, my heart was set on a bigger city with more to offer and all of the bright, shiny things one looks for in a new adventure into the unknown. I soaked it in, throwing myself in new situations and around new people, learning and growing every day just as any other person with, what seemed like, unlimited curiosity would.
What I didn’t recognize then was that the more time went on, the fonder I grew of the small town I call home.
Now, I’m home once again, celebrating Christmas away from the bright lights and endless work to take a breath and truly enjoy the time with my family. These moments have become so rare, and I find myself understanding and appreciating the time together more and more with each day. I also find myself appreciating the little joys of a small town.
Thus, I’ve composed a top twenty list of all of the things I so love about my hometown.
It’s a list of appreciation and love. A list to reflect on this time of year and remember as I the new year begins back in the city, away from home.
1. No one’s a stranger.
2. “You look like your mother.”
3. Every name on every business and shop is familiar.
4. Our “downtown” includes sweet little shops and restaurants you can’t find anywhere else.
5. All of the places I’ve worked at through high school and summers.
6. 10 minutes to anywhere. Max.
7. A field full of cows is always nearby.
8. The coffee shops. Oh, the coffee shops.
9. We still have a KMart.
10. Church is like a reunion every week.
11. “Shopping local” is something everyone does.
12. There are real similarities to “Hart of Dixie.” Which is always a win.
13. Relatives are just around the corner. And more just around the other corner.
14. Making a run “into town” is a much more pleasant way to say “Wal-Mart.”
15. The local meat store has better meat than anywhere else.
16. Your doctor, dentist and hairdresser have been the same since you were born. And they know absolutely everything there is to know about you and your family.
17. Town festivals are a big deal. EVERYONE attends.
18. The local school teams have the support of the whole town.
19. Airports aren’t really the most accessible thing around. First, you drive.
20. Family. Family. Family. And simply nothing beats that.
Are you from a small town, too? What do you love most about your town and coming home for the holidays?
Wherever you’re celebrating this year…Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours!!! Time for a little more family bonding over Christmas classics and caramel popcorn.
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