This chilly weather is putting me in a holiday frame of mind. Luckily Columbia is ready to kick off its Christmas spirit this weekend, so grab some friends … if they are named “Carol”, it’s even more merry!
Friday night is the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for Shelter Insurance. Now in its 47th year, the 6pm celebration includes Christmas music by the West Jr Delphian Choir, Santa, goodies for the kids, and – of course! – the tree lighting. If you run into Shelter Insurance Agent Nancy Allison, don’t forget to thank her for the practical white letter opener she gifted you in your newcomer welcome basket. It’s like an early Christmas present!
I usually end the night with a hot chocolate martini at Room 38, but I’ll try and temper my indulgence since I want to be up early Saturday to hit some holiday craft markets. Three in particular on my list include the Christmas Market at First Presbyterian Church (8am-1pm), the St. Nicholas Bazaar of Calvary Episcopal Church(8am-1pm) and the Christmas Craft Bazaar at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. The latter goes until 3pm, so plan your schedule wisely.
Each promises unique finds and yummy baked goods, but I’m most intrigued by the St. Nicholas Bazaar since it is home to the famous Calvary mice. I was gifted one of these pets a few years back, and I’ve always wanted to see its “birthplace”. I’ve heard you need to be at the door right at 8am, so I’ll be waiting in line when they open.
Since my Saturday will be packed, I’m dedicating Sunday afternoon to the Holiday Home Tour. I love seeing Columbia’s most famous homes decorated in all their glittery best. This year there are two particularly special venues on the list – the Historic Maplewood House and the home of the Stephen’s College President. I always feel a bit naughty as I tiptoe through the rooms, but figure Santa will place me on the nice list since it is a fundraiser for the Women’s Symphony League and the Missouri Symphony Society. Just a tip – you will put on plastic booties before entering each home, so don’t wear stilettos. Last year I did not exude much grace when the bootie got stuck on my heel and I tripped over a staircase.
With all this holiday hijinx, I’ll definitely be too tired to cook Sunday evening. I’ve already told my husband we’ll be winding down at D. Rowe’s. A friend clued me into their loaded baked potato which is a meal in itself. It’s a great big Russet potato served with a side dish of toppings – butter, sour cream, bacon bits, green onions and shredded cheddar cheese. Just don’t forget the generous $10 gift certificate you received in the newcomer welcome basket. It’s a warm and filling way to end a weekend of happy holiday indulgence. Ho, ho, ho!