Amid refrains of "O Holy Night," we are flying into Central West Virginia's Christmas season, and snow flurries are already finding us. Planning travels that are short and sweet seem safe, so if you want to take the family on a three- or four-hour outing, I have assembled some December suggestions to ensure memorable holidays.
We begin today with activity throughout Randolph County that appears unending. Beginning at 9 a.m., Coalton Elementary School has its annual Craft Show. Off U.s. Route 33 West through Norton, the trip will take about 20 minutes from Elkins, and the show offers a great selection of homemade cookies, cakes, candies and crafts. Lunch is available.
A special luncheon also awaits you at Beverly's Old-Fashioned Christmas today where great cooks at the Beverly Presbyterian Church will have soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts, as well as their baked goods and gift baskets offered from l0 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Children participating in a Christmas parade emulate the majesty of the holy night when Mary and Joseph stood with their newborn son under a guiding star.
Additionally, an array of activities and gifts are available at the Beverly Heritage Center, and you may see a Victorian Santa there.
If these events do not provide enough excitement for the day, stop by the Randolph County Community Arts Center for their Holiday Artists Market between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for that unique gift you want for someone special. Some of the area's best artists will have a fine display of wares.
Both Davis & Elkins College and West Virginia Wesleyan College are celebrating their Annual Festivals of Lessons and Carols. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church, Davis & Elkins College will perform and at 4 p.m. in Buckhannon, Wesleyan will present its program at the Wesley Chapel. Time remains during this trip for dinner at one of Buckhannon's fine restaurants.
The American Mountain Theater will be performing its always delightful "Christmas Show" throughout December. Two o'clock matinees are scheduled on Sundays through Dec. 16. Saturdays through the Dec. 22 have 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows, and Wednesdays through Fridays until Dec. 21, they will perform at 7:30 p.m. Reserved tickets are recommended by calling 304-630-3040.
Likewise, the Gandy Dancer will celebrate the Christmas season with Saturday matinees and Friday evening performances dedicated to holiday tunes. Call 304-636-4935 for tickets.
The popular Jackson's Mill "Festival of Lights" can brighten your festivities Dec. 7-8 with full dinner buffets from at 4:30-7 p.m. The Mill is having a craft show in the Assembly Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. The following Saturday, Dec. l5, a return to the Mill will find "Breakfast with Santa" from 9-11 a.m. in the Dining Hall with a full buffet of breakfast treats.
While in Lewis County, a visit to the Stonewall Resort Lodge might be enjoyable. The decorations are gorgeous, and its gift shop boasts many selections to complete your shopping list. Lunch or dinner at its Stillwaters Restaurant is always special, and Santa plans to stop by for an early lunch on several December Saturdays. Call for information at 304-269-7400.
If traveling near Weston after dusk, the Main Street "Dancing Snowflakes" are always a treat, exciting adults as well as children. Many surrounding homes throughout the area are decorated brightly, and Weston calls itself "Christmas Town" because of the many beautiful colored light displays.
Another area attraction is 10 minutes beyond Philippi off of U.S. Route ll9 North where two special buffets are scheduled during the Christmas holidays at Adaland Mansion. Special meals are planned for Dec. 2 and l6 from l-4 p.m. Reservations are required at 304-457-1587.
With Christmas time always being remembered for faith, family and friends, it is good to spend time together and be grateful for the community spirit that prevails in our towns. We are very fortunate to be able to share time and have neighborhoods which provide activities that encourage togetherness.
Amid the focus we have on those close to us, let us not fail to be faithful to those less fortunate and offer prayers and support for their safety. The Bethlehem star shone on all the world, and its peace was a promise for all people. Our commitment to living this peace each day surely fulfills God's Christmas wish and gives light and hope for the darkest of nights.