It’s Christmas time JCO! And there’s so much happening, so get the most out of your holiday season by starting with the Christmas Kick-off on Dec. 7.

Starting at 6 p.m., you can watch the night time Christmas parade, starting from the high school, through town, and ending at the Courthouse. We’re so excited to see the creative things people do in lights; last year was the first night parade in years, so watching the Gingerbread house, the train, and seeing the horses in their lighted wreaths was a real treat. And of course, seeing Santa on the lit-up firetruck was a site to see!

Follow Santa as he makes his way to the Gazebo for its official lighting ceremony, and if you see Linda Dickirson, Cheryl Miller, or any of the courthouse staff, thank them for their help in getting our Gazebo ready for holiday viewing. Get your picture with the best light display in the county, and maybe a few of the characters from the parade route too.

Afterwards, get in line for free carriage rides, courtesy of Main Street Ripley and Rocky Point Farms; they’ll be showing you a horse-drawn view of the downtown square, starting at the courthouse and ending at the post office. And once you’ve left the carriage, get in line to see Santa! He’ll be holding court on Parsons Corner, and you’ll be able to tell him what you really want for Christmas while enjoying some Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. All this will be happening till 8 .p.m, so plan your evening accordingly.

If you miss Santa on Saturday, don’t worry: he’ll be making an afternoon stop at the Greene Center from 2-4 p.m. on Dec. 8. The big guy will bring his brand of Christmas joy to southern Jackson County, so make him feel welcome.

Then we’ll see everyone our on Dec.13, 14, and 15 for the Jackson County Radio Player’s presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Alpine Theatre. Mixing radio with this Christmas classic, you’ll love the familiarity of the story brought to life by our local talent, and you’ll get the chance to hear some Player-created commercials for your favorite local businesses. Admission is by donation, with all donations going toward Ripley Rotary’s Adopt-A-Family (specifically the teenagers in the program) and the Players would love it if you brought socks, bath items, toiletries, blankets, cheap ear buds, and other teen items.

Still looking for Christmas fun? See the newest film version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” at the Alpine Theatre on Dec. 21. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the movie beginning at 6:30 p.m. Stop by to enjoy this animated tale of one of the holiday’s best stories, and it’s free, courtesy of Main Street Ripley.

Finally, take a night and enjoy one of the best parts of living here: great friends and fantastic atmosphere at the Fairplain Yacht Club! Their annual In- Between party is Dec. 28, and they’re bringing the Davisson Brothers Band to the stage. Put on your sparkliest outfit (or comfiest one-Cindy and Jeff don’t judge!), and come out to celebrate with the people that make the holidays worth celebrating.

We’re coming up on the end of an amazing year in Jackson County, but there’s still so much more to enjoy. Celebrate with your family, your friends, and your community!