Skip to content

Street Talk

There Is A Glimmer Of The Old Valley

Once upon a time there was a wonderful little town nestled in a sleepy valley surrounded by hilly country. A rail line ran through the valley floor and in the winter passing trains puffed big bellowing clouds of steam into the frigid air. The huffing and puffing of the locomotives and the ding-ding of their bells echoed up the hills.  That seemed the sound of prosperity and contentment and was an audible reflection of the industrious people who lived in the town.

Once a year, on Christmas Day, the trains all stopped. The sound of industry and progress, all those modern and cacophonous noises, halted. If the town was lucky, and often it was, a blanket of snow would fall and muffle nearly everything. Then the only signs of life were the wispy plumes of smoke rising slowly from the chimneys poking from the many steep pitched roofs, even the town dogs were quietly inside, curled by the fireplaces. 

Gifts were around those hearths waiting for people to awake on that one quiet day of the year. The gifts were an assortment of handmade wooden toys and calico figures, all locally made and acquired. Nobody was going to the slightly snooty, but less virtuous, nearby university town to trade or buy northern imported goods. In the houses, gaily decorated trees made the house festive, the trees having been selected and carefully cut from renewable trees nearby. There was peace and serenity for all on that one day.

Okay, maybe that’s not exactly how Christmas morning was in old valley days. For sure there was no UPS and Fed Ex and USPS trucks bringing Amazon sourced electronics made overseas for your digital pleasures in the weeks before.  

You can once again get a glimmer of that old valley, as Christmas is not about the things, but about the meaning of gift giving.

The surprise and joy of the unique, personal, and the handmade…all of those can still be found in the Valley. On our decorated and lighted Main Street.

This year with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both falling on a Sunday, it will make both holidays long weekends. Maybe that snowy quiet will bless us. 

I believe everyone has a favorite holiday memory or two. Here’s hoping you make a few of those memories this Christmas.

Leave a Comment