If you are anything like me, you love this time of year! The smells. The music. The decorations, even if it, takes weeks to get it all put up and boxes stowed away. The hunt for the gift giving. The people. And I especially enjoy the traditions that have evolved over the years.

Last year was the first year for my family to pick, cut and decorate a real Christmas tree. We loved the novelty of it all and the merrymaking. This year we added another tradition that will also continue for years to come. Illuminate, hosted by Conway’s Chamber and many area businesses, was a great event that culminated with the lighting of the Christmas tree downtown. It was such a joy to be out there with hundreds of Conway families excited to see the start of this holiday season as we counted down: 10, 9, 8…1! The tree went ablaze, with a slight delay for the top tier so as to tease us and create more suspense!

Traditions are often in the details, the small things. It may be watching "Elf" and "It’s a Wonderful Life" in excess. Baking, decorating cookies and usually creating a mess is definitely on this list. Caroling. Ham loaf for Christmas Dinner. Hot chocolate while driving around taking in the area Christmas lights. Sometimes, small gifts can be the most practical and most enticing. As a child, I loved digging into my stocking because I knew I would find several goodies all wrapped up (lipglosses, fragrance, jewelry (on those generous years). Those tiny little packages carried such impact on me. Why is that?

When it comes to this Holiday Season, let’s think small and think home. "Small" in a sense that we shoot for meaningfulness instead of abundance, and "Home" in a sense we cultivate traditions that will last for years and years. We live in a great community with much to offer, may we give meaningfully and enjoy our loved ones in ways that celebrate all the joys of Christmas.

I know our schedules are full, but just in case you have some free time for memory making here are some events to keep you up to speed on the local festivities:

Conway’s Holiday Festivities Schedule is up and running. After grabbing an evening coffee at Zeteo check out the downtown attractions. The attractions will run through the entire month of December.

Large Ferris Wheel- $5, Monday-Thursday 5 til 9, Friday-Saturday 5 til 10. Small Ferris Wheel is $2. These attractions are closed on Sunday’s and December 24-26.

Brothers’ Engine No. One Train Rides will run Wednesdays-Saturdays, 5:30 pm-8:30 pm. $3 per ride.

Carriage Rides are running nightly, starting at 4:30 pm, $5 per person with a $10 minimum.

Speaking of small — Moore’s Art Supplies will host a Small Works show and sale through December. Moore’s can be found at 1015 Deer Street, Conway. Call 501-504-6968 for more information.

Art on the Green will continue our small works sale "Christmas Originals," through December 22nd. Holiday paintings are priced for gift giving. $25-$250. Come into the gallery and be entered to win! Drawings will be held weekly for gifts including a Lowe’s Candy Apple Green KitchenAid Artisan Mixer hand painted by Bonnie McKay and Parilee Croft. The Drawing for the Mixer is December 22nd; so you still have time to register for everything. Sheila Parsons’ painted French Press with Espresso Cups. Original artwork; Christmas and All-Occasion greeting cards.

For more information visit TheCabin.net or log onto ArtontheGreen.net.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!