Editorial: Aiken’s Christmas spirit makes the holidays bright

December 26, 2018

With so much Christmas spirit, maybe Aiken should change its name from the day after Thanksgiving to Dec. 25.

Maybe “M’Aiken Merry,” say?

Has a nice ring. Just like the ones that give angels their wings.

Even all the elves in the North Pole singing “Jingle Bells” can’t generate as much Christmas spirit as Aiken does during the holiday season.

Speaking of the North Pole, It’s unlikely Aiken will have a white Christmas this year, but the the more than 100,000 twinkling, white lights at Hopelands Gardens should brighten anyone’s holidays.

And if you’re not a fan of cold weather, stop by the Dollhouse during Christmas in Hopelands. This year’s theme, a Lowcountry Coastal Christmas, will give you the feeling of warm ocean breezes and sand in your shoes.

The last night for the annual Christmas tradition will be from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday .

Every city, town and community across the county boasts its own signature Christmas parade, but the Hoofbeats and Christmas Carols Parade through downtown Aiken takes its theme from the city’s love for all things equestrian.

Riders on horses adorned with bells, antlers and Christmas bows and carriages parade down Laurens Street while Santa’s helpers pass out candy to the hundreds of parade watchers who line the street.

And because Aiken has such an affinity for all animals, dog lovers aren’t left out in the cold. Owners proudly march down the street with their pets of all breeds, many dressed in their Christmas best.

What’s Christmas without the “Nutcracker?” No need to worry. Aiken is again on its toes. Members of the Aiken Civic Ballet have danced on to the stage with the perennial Christmas classic for 10 years.

And music?

Aiken literally sings the praises of the holiday season. The Aiken Symphony Orchestra sold all but 15 seats to its “Home for the Holidays” concert, even with temperatures in the 30s; a cold, north wind; and a light rain that threatened to turn to, if not snow, then flurries.

And the symphony gave the community a new gift of music this year with a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” that filled every seat in the beautiful sanctuary of St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church.

And what brightens the holiday spirit more than a Christmas tree? From the snowflake tree on Newberry Street in Aiken to the towering, live cedar in front of Hickman Hall in Graniteville, community trees shine bright every night across the county, keeping the Christmas spirit glowing during the darkest time of the year.

On this Christmas morning, we hope you and your family and friends are making merry are enjoying the lights of your own Christmas tree and the spirit that only the holidays can bring.

Merry Christmas from the Aiken Standard.

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