Christmas in Livingston


Many years ago, the town square of Livingston was the place to be on Saturdays. That was the day trading with local merchants was done. But just as important as making weekly purchases in the stores on the square, it was also a day for visiting with friends, family, and acquaintances. Iíve been told that trip after trip all around the court square was traveled on foot, first in one direction, and then in the other, by large numbers of men, women, and children. Stopping to talk and visit was a big part of those special Saturdays as well. Very few citizens owned cars back in the days when visiting by walking around and around the square was done. Traveling by wagon and mules to the court square was done by many folks who lived out in the country. Everyone looked forward to Saturday trips to the town square.

I grew up in the generation of baby boomers, and the custom then was if you wanted to see who was in town on the weekends, driving around the square was the thing to do. The atmosphere of both eras, the one when folks walked around the square, and the later one when everyone drove around the square, was probably similar, and has been missing since those traditions no longer exist. But recently, thanks to the local merchants association, that atmosphere has been brought back to life somewhat with the Friday night events designed to promote shopping at home for the Christmas season. If you havenít attended one of these Friday night gatherings on the court square, youíre missing a lot of fun. Carriage rides for $5.00 per person are available. Entertainment is provided by local talent each Friday night too. Free popcorn and hot chocolate can also be enjoyed. Other refreshments are also offered by participating merchants around the square. Word has gotten around to nearby neighboring towns bringing visitors to experience the fun. A young mother with twins toddlers and an older daughter told me she and her family had driven up from Cookeville after reading about the events in a newspaper. Her words were "This is how the Christmas season should be."

And what about the beautiful decorations all around the square. Arenít they just breath taking! The lights that outline the buildings, the lamp posts, the wreaths and banners, along with all the greenery create a beautiful scene. Employees of the Town of Livingston, hats off to you, along with two special people, Budd and Julia Bishop. This husband and wife team certainly deserve a lot of thanks and gratitude for all their hard work with the decorating of the lamp posts, the wreaths on the courthouse windows, and the beautiful decorations at the post office too. The Bishops, and a young man who climbed up and down a ladder all day, were just beginning this big project one morning last week as I went to work, and later in the evening as I drove home, they were still at it. Livingston is fortunate to have this dedicated couple involved in the beautification of our town.

For a step back into a real life Christmas card, come and be a part of a Friday night on the square in Livingston for the remaining weekends until Christmas. You have to be present to experience the atmosphere that has been created. Itís just the thing to get a person in a wonderful Christmas mood, and this comes from someone who, believe it or not, said in an earlier writing that she would rather be at Myrtle Beach for the holidays