Here's How Nashville Gets Ready for the Holidays

First order of business:  Much to my dismay, I must remind you that this Saturday night, Nov. 1, at midnight, it is time to set your clocks back one hour – fall back.  Yes, we get an “extra hour” of sleep, but it will be dark on Sunday by 5:30pm and then I will begin the annual countdown of losing 1 minute of light per day until that winter solstice on Dec. 21st.    I am soaking up as much of the orange and ochre of the lovely fall leaves and the blues and yellows of the October skies to sustain me through the gray and dark winter days.  Philosophically I know that winter is a time of rest and a time to store up energy in preparation for the coming burst and beauty of spring.   I am simply never a willing participant in the forced hibernation which winter brings.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Time for turkey and dressing, cranberries and potatoes and of course all the desserts you can eat.  After you stuff yourself, you can settle in to whatever football you can find for the day.  If you want to start the morning on a good note burning off a few calories and getting some early exercise in you will want to sign up for the 21st Annual Boulevard Bolt.  Sponsored by Immanuel Baptist Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church and The Temple Congregation Ohabai Shalom and run by countless volunteers, this 5 mile race ranks as among the largest in the country.  Last year, over 85,000 participants rolled on to Belle Meade Boulevard for an 8am walk/run up and down the Boulevard.  This race has raised over $2,310,000 in donations made to homeless ministries in Nashville – a great cause to support and a wonderful way to start your Thanksgiving Day.

And now, I have a confession to make.  Yes, I am one of THOSE PEOPLE! As much as I hate winter, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!   Today, Oct. 27, 2014 – four days before Halloween and 4 weeks before Thanksgiving – I put on my first Christmas music of the season!   Now, mind you, it was not your traditional Christmas carols as sung by Frank and Bing.  I found a You Tube episode of Live at Daryl’s House (Daryl Hall that is) with Shelby Lynne as his guest. This episode was taped in the fall of the year and the first Christmas song which was performed was one Shelby wrote and was, admittedly, one of the darkest and most depressing Christmas songs EVER!  And I loved it!  The music became more positive as the evening wore on and included a couple of Shelby and Daryl’s original Christmas songs along with a couple of Shelby’s non-holiday pieces.  I will be looking for both of their Christmas CD’s this year to add to my collection.   If you haven’t ever experienced a Live at Daryl’s episode – you must check it out on You Tube – amazing stuff. 

For those of you who might be looking for a little early Holiday Cheer, here are a couple of events you might want to check out:

CMA Country Christmas

On Friday, November 7th at Bridgestone Arena, tickets are still available for the taping of the 5th Annual CMA Country Christmas.  Jennifer Nettles will host again this year and will be joined by many of her friends to sing and dance their way into the season with visions of sugar plums and loads of tinsel, trees, candy and, of course, Christmas carols galore.  She will be joined by Sara Evans, Dan & Shay, Hunter Hayes and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few.  This show will be taped to air on December 1 on ABC.

Nashville's Christmas Village

The 54th Annual Christmas Village will take place at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds November 14 – 16.  $10 General admission tickets can be purchased online.  Christmas Village is one of Nashville’s oldest charitable events, run exclusively by Nashville Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club.  There will be 260 unique merchants and over 20,000 shoppers looking for great early Christmas buys.  Vanderbilt University’s Bill Wilkerson Center, Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute, serving patients recovering from severe brain trauma and The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts have received over 9 million dollars in charitable contributions from Christmas Village over the years.

Country Christmas at Opryland

A Country Christmas at Opryland will begin on November 14, 2014 and run through January 3, 2015.  You can visit Santa, see all the millions of lights, decorated trees, poinsettias and more.  Take the Arctic Plunge and go snow tubing, see Ma and Pa in their kerchiefs and caps all carved in ICE!, take in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes – their last season in Nashville, make a dinner date and reservation for the Restless Heart Dinner Show or just simply take a walk around the beautifully decorated hotel grounds with more than 2 million lights, outdoor nativity scene and the parade of trees.  There is sure to be enough to entertain the whole family.

Now I am off to pull out my cozy winter blankets, my favorite oversized sweaters and light my fireplace and start preparing for the holidays!

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