GUIZERIX: Vicksburg keeps Christmas Spirit all season long

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

After more than a year of seemingly being in transition, my family and I spent our first Christmas morning in our own home.

Seeing my toddler open presents and seeing her face when we came downstairs and saw what Santa Claus brought (a red wagon, a tricycle, new baby dolls, a cradle and a Tickle-Me Elmo), it was the perfect morning. But what really sealed the deal on our “Norman Rockwell” Christmas was an impromptu walk around the block.

Wanting to test out her new wheels and go outside, I decided to take my daughter out to the sidewalk in front of our house for a walk. It was slightly cool, with a comfortable breeze as I pushed her along in her new tricycle.

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We walked up and down the street, with her calling out “Ho, Ho,” every time we came across Santa decorations at our neighbors’ homes.

On the surface, it didn’t seem like a day that was out of the ordinary, but Christmas magic was in the air. As we made our way down the block, we saw visiting cousins on front porches, sharing a cup of coffee and trading laughs about their great-aunt and her god-awful fruitcakes.

We saw tourists riding around, marveling at the architecture and landscaping in Vicksburg’s established neighborhoods.

Walking by a home with an open window, the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls and hot coffee wafted past. Squeals of delight emerged from more than a few living rooms, as children made their way to the Christmas tree to see if Santa came.

Given the unseasonably warm temperatures of late, many neighbors ventured outside to greet each other and wish passersby a Merry Christmas. The morning really encapsulated the best of Vicksburg’s storied charm and hospitality.

After a Christmas where the population was encouraged to stay apart, and after world events further divided us, Christmas morning in Vicksburg sparked hope. Hope that, if only for a moment, we could put our differences aside and share in fellowship with one another. Hope that we can overcome seasons of isolation in favor of rejuvenated community spirit.

Most of all, this Christmas morning walk gave me hope that children like my daughter will grow up in a Vicksburg that is better than she found it.

As we enter into 2022, let’s work together to keep moving forward — and to do so together.