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Matt and Greta Cooper’s new home combines modern and rustic design and is filled with family memorabilia like an antique dining set from her grandmother and special ornaments given to Greta by Matt for each year they have been married.

Finding Christmas magic everywhere

Christmas lights, tinsel and garland have found their way into my apartment again, replacing the fall leaves and spooky decorations that signaled the presence of autumn.

I can’t remember a time in my life when my parents’ home wasn’t decorated for the holidays, and I can’t imagine not decorating in the same manner now that I live alone. It’s true, I confess: I am a holiday decoration addict.

Really, everything about the holidays is addicting to me, from the hot drinks to the cozy clothes, the abundance of food and the cheerful music. But there’s something about Christmas time that is especially magical. I don’t know if it’s from growing up watching Lorelai Gilmore profess the magic of snow on Gilmore Girls or the countless number of Hallmark Christmas movies I’ve watched over the years.

Most likely it’s because I’ve been blessed with a remarkable family that never fails to show love and make sure every holiday is special.

As I’ve gotten older, what makes Christmas special has changed from tearing through gifts on Christmas morning to sitting back with a cup of coffee and enjoying the warmth that comes from being surrounded by loved ones.

Now that I live almost two hours away from home with a full-time job, my Christmas break is shorter than in my college and younger days, but I have found more ways to incorporate the Christmas spirit into my life here in Franklin County.

I would like to point out how beautiful downtown Russellville looks with its decorations this year. Thank you to everyone involved in that project. If you haven’t taken a moment to stop and look at them, do so at night when the lights are glowing, and I guarantee you’ll feel a spark of Christmas magic.

For the second year in a row now, I have been able to go to the Russellville Tour of Homes put on by the Book Lovers Study Club, and it has been a remarkable experience each time. Thank you to the families who opened their homes this year and welcomed myself and the community to see how beautifully they have decorated this season. My holiday heart was overjoyed by the trees and decorations that combined old memories and traditions with new ones.

The Christmas parades have also been a fun experience, despite the finger-numbing cold. There is still one more to go at Phil Campbell, but these first three have been full of creative floats, talented bands and excited children scampering to grab as much candy as possible.