No place like home for the holidays

Published 11:45 am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Be sure to check out your city’s Christmas offerings this holiday season. (contributed)

Be sure to check out your city’s Christmas offerings this holiday season. (contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Christmas holds different memories for everybody. My holiday memories happen to be highlighted by Santa Claus greeting hundreds of excited children from atop a Zamboni ice-resurfacing machine.

As anyone who has been living in Pelham for any amount of time can tell you, the city has one of the most unique Christmas traditions in Alabama.

After Pelham officials light the city’s enormous and beautiful Christmas tree in the Pelham Civic Complex main ice arena, Santa always comes out from underneath the bleachers riding atop the enormous Zamboni.

It’s an event I have been attending since the Civic Complex was built in the late 1990s, and something I was a part of while playing in the Pelham High School jazz band during my tenure at PHS.

This year’s Pelham Christmas tree lighting ceremony was last Monday, but you can still marvel at the beautiful tree while enjoying some ice-skating time at the Civic Complex.

I also have memories of attending – and occasionally taking part in – multiple other local Christmas events, such as the Alabaster and Helena Christmas parades.

This year may mark the final year the PHS marching band takes part in the Helena parade, as the new Helena High School is set to open next fall.

Be sure to set aside some time to attend the Helena or Alabaster Christmas parades, both of which will be this Saturday. Alabaster’s begins at 10 a.m. on U.S. 31, and Helena’s begins at 1 p.m.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Christmas season brings a community together. Folks in every city in Shelby County always seem to have a smile on their faces through- out the season – whether they are shopping or enjoying their city’s Christmas offerings.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check and see if your city has a special event planned during the holiday season.

It’s never too late to start making Christmas memories.

Neal Wagner is the city editor for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 17.