Are you ready? I mean really ready? For Christmas, of course. Regardless of what kind of year you’ve had, this time of year should fill your heart with joy. Everywhere I look in Tyler and East Texas I see amazing growth and progress.
Downtown is bustling with Art Walks and live music, while the brick streets received a nice makeover with curbs and landscaping. New businesses have opened in 2013 and some have faded away, but all in all it’s been a rocking year for our community.
I would love to encourage each and every one to get out and shop local like my wonderful wife Denise and I do as much as we possibly can. I really enjoy buying from locally owned businesses and trust me, they enjoy having you shop with them. John and Nicki at Dickey’s BBQ on the loop always have a smile and a warm welcome, as does Pam at Sweet Gourmet on Broadway. I love the fact that money spent at places like these stays in Tyler and doesn’t get shipped to Austin or New Jersey.
As you get out and about and the stress begins to get to you, also remember a local charity you may want to help out. Denise and I give our time to A World for Children every year when I play Santa to foster children and she is Santa’s helper (she won’t do Mrs. Claus, yet). The East Texas Food Bank is located here in Tyler and is always welcoming help boxing meals, so you can volunteer for no cost and feel great about it. Trust me; helping a local charity will melt that stress away. The Salvation Army is another wonderful place to volunteer as well and is always looking for folks willing to serve. Like pets? Pets Fur People and Gail Helms can use you and you will absolutely feel the love from all the dogs and cats they have.
One of the things that a lot of people do during the Christmas season is go to the movies. Every year while the adults are getting things ready on Christmas Eve, I take all of the nieces and nephews out to eat and to the movies and it’s all their choice. They choose the movie and where we eat and I am grateful they have gotten older and we can have wings and burgers and not Happy Meals any more. I’ve been studying Stewart Smith’s movie reviews and making subtle suggestions, so I hope this year they pick a great movie, but it’s still their choice and I pay.
You see, the holidays are magical if you want them to be, so get out and listen to some live music downtown or at Stanley’s, work for a charity, buy a gift locally or take the whole family to a movie, you won’t regret it and who knows, you may just start a tradition.
Terry Miller is the owner/broker of Miller Homes Group and host of Extreme Real Estate.