#2,172 Tree Lighting(s).

Tonight was the annual town Christmas tree lighting, which means the day after tomorrow can be only one thing… PANCAKES AND PARADE DAY! Ahhhhh! This is really, seriously, the best time of year to live in Laurel, when every house on the avenues has a fresh tree all lit up with ribbons and bows. Tonight is the night it all begins, with a couple hundred people gathering in Pinehurst Park to hear the choirs sing, the Laurel Main Street president (Mallorie!) and the mayor speak, then the tree is lit and we all get cups of Red Hots apple cider and remember all over again what’s so special about living in a tiny, Mississippi town. Best of all, this year our friends Joey, Sarah, and Daniel came back home from all corners of the earth to be here for everyone’s favorite weekend-long Laurel tradition. We all grew up doing it, except Ben who is making up for it in adulthood.

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Afterward we warmed up with a long dinner at Tabella since Joey and Sarah have never been. Salad! Soup! Eggplant parm! Mmmmm..

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You like the way Ben’s head got squished by the panorama?

And at that point, we’d been so bad we figured we might as well stop at Krispy Kreme for a dozen ‘hot nows!’

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We haven’t had a free moment to put up our Christmas decorations and don’t know when we’ll have time to do more than the tree inside tomorrow night, so tonight, at midnight, we just went for it and started decorating the outside.

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And I’m so glad we did. Tomorrow morning, Ben is doing a radio interview, then we’ll be celebrating Josh’s mama’s remarkable life, then picking out our Christmas tree at Smith’s Tree Farm. See you then, dear reader.