‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Downtown

A holiday tour through Columbia and The Shoals

 | By and

‘Twas the night before Christmas, downtown on the square,
A festive tree sat, on the Courthouse stair.
Guarded by nutcracker and drummer boy too,
They stared out into the streets to see what we’d do.

Wreaths hung on shop doors, inviting us in
They lined 7th street, where the magic begins.
The lampposts were lit, with a holiday glow,
The streets lay bare, just waiting for snow.

The people had been there just hours before
Finishing their shopping in all of the stores.
With packages in arms, in their hands were lists,
The gifts yet to buy looked something like this:

Rogers Hall

Rogers Hall

“A hat for my brother with it’s emblem turned round,
61 years and counting is Ted’s sign upside down.
A bag of coffee for sister and her late college nights,
Muletown’s small batches will fix her up right.

A down-home meal for Grandpa, southern to the bone,
Pucketts Restaurant & Grocery is locally known.
Grandma likes stories to pass the time away,
Duck River books should have something, I say.

A nice dress for Mother, fit for next year’s Polk Ball,
Lace & Company’s selection is sure to enthrall.
And for Father, what else but new vinyl to store,
A throwback from Variety will strike an old chord.

Now to Lily Jane, to Oak & Lace, and Bleu 32!
The holiday sales are just too good to be true.
To Southern Exposure, Unique Korner and off to High Fashion
These shops have everything, all you could imagine.

Lookin' for those gifts.

Lookin’ for those gifts.

Onto Square Market and Mercantile too,
Then off to Asgard for some yuletide brew.
And speaking of food, I forgot the Christmas feast!
Pie Sensations will be last, but certainly not least.

They stop only moments to cross items off their lists,
Double checking to make sure none had been missed.
Others still scurry, to and fro from the shops,
Juggling their presents praying none drop.

Still so much to be finished as this day comes to close,
With the night comes the cold and faces half froze.
Off home to ready for candlelight songs
A Silent Night’s end to a day full and long.

To bed we all go, to await morning’s light,
Hoping and Praying for a Christmas that’s white.
‘Twas the night before Christmas in Columbia’s downtown
Thank you so much for letting me show you around.

Further down the road,
from the hills of Tennessee
to the Valley by the river,
lies a town that doesn’t forebode.

Mobile street snow

Mobile street snow

‘Twas the night before Christmas on Court Street,
the lights strung up, all pretty and neat.
The Shoals was booming with holiday feasts,
with citizens reveling in sweet, sweet treats.

Workers checked the lights of the trees,
signaling the coming season.
Churches put up their signs,
helping us remember the reason.

The party was just getting started at Odette,
with trivia and libations, I bet.
Over at Ricatoni’s the tiramisu was calling,
But I refrained for my waistlines a’growing.

Billy Reid, all decked out in Christmas gear,
was light up with joy for the new year.
And don’t forget about Woodpecker Café,
their pastries surely match your fresh latté.

Further up the street, Leo and Una were snuggled and warm,
with dreams of blood-sickles dancing in their heads.
UNA welcomes the holiday spirit,
though her students aren’t in it.

1950s Court Street

1950s Court Street

All throughout Florence,
parties and gatherings begin.
With warm greetings and open arms,
This season isn’t meant for harm.

Across the cold Tennessee River,
which flowed quietly and calmly,
laid the rest of the Shoals,
not in the least balmy.

The bands prepared for their holiday parades
Warming and tuning their horns.
Santas abound in these towns,
Somehow he’s always around.

Tusccumbia showed off her own holiday cheer,
with lights there and here.
Coldwater Books was lit to the heavens,
offering candy and cookies to fill your cravins’.

All throughout the Shoals,
the holiday spirit rings clear.
In the hope that Saint Nick
would soon be near.