Every year I still can barely wait for Christmas. I am past counting down to Santa, but I love the beauty of the season. Sparkling lights, silver bells, Christmas carols, family traditions, the excitement of the children,….and watching “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Until we moved to Edenton, Doug and I had never lived in a small town. It was cities for us, with one very brief stop in a village so tiny it didn’t even have a stop light. And until we moved to Edenton, we never lived anywhere with as much charm. Frommer’s and Frobes both call it one of the prettiest small towns in the South. It is. Some of that comes from what it was, an early colonial capital that retains historic homes and sites on the National Register of Historic places. Some comes from its lovely location on Edenton Bay, a safe harbor on the Albemarle Sound, a sail away from the Outer Banks.
Even today, five years later, I still remember how wonderstruck I was the first time I drove across the Sound Bridge. It was sunset. The water sparkled with the present while I drove into the past. Awash with a feeling of deep peace, mesmerized, I re-experienced the joy I felt as a child when following a long trip we arrived, HOME. Others have described similar feelings to me. One person depicted it as being swept into the movie, Brigadoon, caught in the spell of time.
From our white columned Greek Revival house it is just a short walk past stately homes with historic signs naming original owners and date of construction out front, to downtown, glimpses of cypress trees in the water at every cross street. We turn the corner and there it is, our own Bedford Falls. There’s the movie house the whole town is raising funds to upgrade so we can keep it running. There’s the Soda Shop, formerly Mitchner’s Pharmacy, and across the street our own Emporium, Byrum’s Hardware. Everywhere we go we meet people we know and warm Southern greetings come even from people we don’t yet know.
So this week, after the Tree Lighting and carols, the Soup Supper fundraiser for the Taylor Cinema, and a stop at the Edenton Coffee Shop to listen to Drew, the son of a friend, entertain as he plays guitar and keyboard, I am full of Christmas spirit. I don’t know what the world or Edenton would be like without me, but I do know I love my little town. It is time to hang my own garland round our door, put the candles in the windows, and decorate the Christmas Tree. Merry Christmas, Edenton! It is a wonderful life!