Saturday, December 3, 2016

The (Merry) Christmas Walk in Geneva

Happy Holidays! 
Happy Hanukkah!  
Happy Kwanzaa! 
Merry Christmas!

I'm not one of those people who get hung up on a particular greeting this time of year. What's the big deal, anyway? I have friends who celebrate special days on the calendar in their own way, and if I am aware, I will happily wish them a happy WHATEVER it is they are commemorating. I'm assuming friends will know I'm celebrating Christ's birth, and won't mind hearing me say "Merry Christmas" when I see them, any more than I would mind hearing them greet me with their holiday wishes of choice.

This private residence was all decked out.
If someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I will give them a hearty Merry Christmas back. And if I hear Happy Holidays, I'm certainly not going to get all bent out of shape about it. That would kind of defeat the purpose, wouldn't it? In the spirit of "peace on earth; goodwill to all," I'll return their wish for Happy Holidays. 

December is such a magical month to me. Our family celebrates the birth of Christ. We have friends observing the Festival of Lights, and still others are celebrating Kwanzaa. Many of us are looking for ways to serve others through our churches or synagogues or community groups. People seem friendlier and more cheerful. Children remind us of our innocent days of childhood. And here in the Midwest, there is the promise of snow. (Don't let me down, Illinois.)

Last night, Chuck had asked me out for the Geneva Christmas Walk. I love that he still plans dates, and calls to ask me out. We had missed the walk last year, and I looked forward to wandering around our favorite, picturesque downtown at night, enjoying the Christmas lights, carolers, live models in storefront windows, and instrumental music. There were rumors there were free cookies that Chuck was excited about, and I was hoping for a chance to try an actual chestnut roasting on an open fire. I heard they do that there.

The Little Traveler, my favorite store for browsing.

As we were walking hand in hand down the middle of the street (the police barricade Third Avenue for this event), I wished my husband a "Merry Christmas." That was a safe greeting, I figured, but no. 

Merry Christmas, Beart!

Chuck responded with, "Merry Christmas WALK. It's much too early to say Merry Christmas."

"WHAT? No, way. Merry CHRISTMAS," I repeated, with a smile.

"Merry Christmas WALK," he said, grinning. I gave up. He can be pretty stubborn about word choice sometimes, but it was all in good fun. 

Live models in tutus and wedding dresses in store windows delighted the children.
Before we headed back to our car, we stopped at an art gallery, and finally found a free cookie for Chuck, and I had a sample of some wassail, but just a bit. I didn't get my roasted chestnut this time, but there's always next year.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you get to do it surrounded by loved ones. Merry Christmas from the Bennorths, and Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays, too! And in my opinion, it is NOT too early to say any of those happy things; we have less than a month for any of them, so better say them while we can!


  1. Beautiful! I love how you see my hometowns with your fresh and unique perspective. Lovely!

    1. Thank you, Susan. There is so much to love about this place.

  2. If it's December, it's Christmas! ;o)


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