Christmas Aglow at Shelby Township Municipal Grounds

by ANDREW NEAL

Shelby Township rang in the holiday festivities Friday with Christmas Aglow, its annual tree lighting event on Municipal Grounds.

Santa and Mrs. Claus flew in for the weekend to take personal visits from local children, whose virtues often outweigh the wallets of their caretakers.

Prior to their rendezvous with Saint Nick, siblings negotiated wish lists over hot cocoa and cookies in the back of a horse-drawn wagon.

The Boy Scouts of Camp 251 led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Girl Scout troop No. 75769 gave Santa the key to the Township.

Always on point, Julia Holt’s caroling Eisenhower show choir was there to wish you a Merry Christ-mas and a Hap-py New Year.

“It’s a great family event for all the residents of Shelby Township,” says Parks and Recreation Director Joe Youngblood, every year.

Surrounded by lights, costumes, crafts and food, the small town feel that is sometimes felt in Shelby Township grew three sizes that day.

In 2013, a fierce windstorm destroyed the nicest spruce on Municipal Grounds, the Township’s go-to Christmas tree.

This year, after a brief exchange between Mr. Claus and the audience, the second nicest tree was lit with a rowdy “Merry Christmas!”

A commendable, albeit sparsely lit, spruce.

But Christmas isn’t about how big our tree is, or used to be until a storm blew it to pieces. Nor is it about extravagant events or expensive gifts.

Children know this, too.

Mary, local child, summed it up best. “Christmas is when Jesus was born. When the wise men followed the North Star, all the shepherds came,” she told Shelby TV. “It’s not all about the presents.”

Nailed it, Mary.

Canned foods were collected for the “Feed the Need” program and sponsors, volunteers and the Parks & Recreation Department worked hard to pull off another successful merrymaking event.

And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.