The Christmas and the New Year season brings with it an exuberance of joy, happiness, and celebration everywhere. As I ventured into the historic city of Charleston in South Carolina, I was distinctly welcomed by the Southern sunshine, the smell of salty air and the Marina which had the capacity of 19000 feet of dock space nearly covering 40 acres of water. The coastal historic charm was evident in the beautiful houses near the waterfront, which were all decorated for the holiday season.

The old-fashioned decorations and some of the more modern ones made the holiday spirit more bright and cheerful. I watched with awe the several varieties of Victorian and Georgian mansions dating from 1700 to 1800, all refurbished beautifully and decorated with grace. Many of these houses had wreaths adorned on the doorway, fences and gates. Some were made with sweet grass – the specialty grass of South Carolina which carried a fragrance through the air. This special type of grass grows in abundance at the Charleston plantations and the wreaths and baskets are sun-dried over days and then delicately hand-woven over hours. The wreaths and door hanger baskets are then flavored with fruity handmade sprays. If you are lucky to stroll in the mornings, you can catch the waft of the flavors like apple, citrus, pears which will leave you craving for these sprays at your home.

The restaurants and other government buildings were all dressed up, signaling that the joy is here to spread. Lightings were abundant at the Park Circle in Charleston, and I strolled through the walkway visualizing the different types of Christmas trees filled with varied decorations. The Park Circle community participated in this activity making this a truly collaborative effort.

There were several schools which participated in the Holiday Lighting in the Park festival, each exhibiting handmade paintings and creative artwork, all a representation of some theme for the holidays with a message in each. All I can say was the essence of the holiday season was well glorified. Cheers to the holiday season. May it bring happiness to all.

Happy New Year!