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Rural Missouri Magazine

Christmas is special in the country

by Barry Hart

by Barry Hart

I may be biased because I grew up in rural Missouri, but it seems to me Christmas is special in the country. Maybe it’s because of the natural tendency of rural people to be good neighbors that really shines at this time of year.

I am always humbled by the way rural people look out for those who are less fortunate in their communities. Somehow, you find a way to ensure no one goes without.

Nothing looks better trimmed out in red and green than a small town. The old storefronts, bandstands, town squares and parks all lend themselves well to holiday decorations. I personally look forward to seeing the lifelike nativity scenes emerge at the same locations and sometimes am pleasantly surprised by seeing a new one in a community.

Since they are farther apart than urban homes, a rural home lit up for the holidays seems to shine brighter. There’s nothing more comforting to me than to drive down a rural road and see the distant glow of holiday lights shining in the night.

This time of year, small towns really put out the welcome mat with a huge variety of events. The sounds of Christmas can be heard from church bells, marching bands and impromptu groups of carolers, some collecting for a worthy cause and others just singing for the sheer fun of it.

Then there’s the country cooks. Without them, Christmas would not be the same. Favorite recipes for desserts come out of hiding, marked as the most popular by the many stains and fingerprints from Christmases past. These country cooks, bless them, love to share.

Our farmers open their fields to us so we can select a real Christmas tree. Nothing smells better than a fresh-cut pine from a Missouri tree farm. I’m not sure there is anything better to get you in the holiday mood.

As my wife, Laura, and I get ready for the holidays and the return home of our two sons from college for a short time, I want to take a minute to thank all of you for staying in touch this past year. Those cards and letters provide valuable feedback on how we are doing.

It’s been a good year for Missouri’s electric cooperatives and the 650,000 member-owners they strive to serve each day of the year. Here’s hoping you and your family have a special and meaningful Christmas season and that 2007 is a happy and prosperous year for all of our readers.

Hart is executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

E-mail Barry Hart

 

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Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives

Rural Missouri
2722 E. McCarty Street
P.O. Box 1645 • Jefferson City, Mo. 65102
573-659-3423

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