“The Greatest Gift.” That was the name of the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern which was later sold, turned into a screenplay, and became arguably one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
Being a student of the human experience, I am often that person in the group that brings up questions in hopes of learning a little more about you than I did before. Since you are reading this and we’re not sharing in conversation, this question will be for the pure pleasure of your own reflection: What was the “greatest gift” you ever received for the holidays? I could follow that up with, Name a few things that have made your life wonderful.
After hosting our Main Street Mayville, Inc. winter kick-off celebration last Saturday, I am feeling a little tired and a lot grateful. Executing an event day can take a lot out of you, but with each one, I try to take at least a few minutes and soak in the moment. We were so incredibly blessed with unseasonably mild temps that made coming down to Main Street quite comfortable! We had generous sponsors that supported the parade and multiple activities throughout the afternoon. So many businesses and organizations went out of their way to make it a special day by gathering staff, volunteers, resources, and space. Of course, like any event, there were successes and a few hiccups (the sound amplification decided not to operate for the Mayor’s greeting and countdown for the tree lighting and fireworks). We learned a little more about what works well, and received some feedback on how we can improve. Overall, what an honor to be able to honestly say that we live in a community that works hard, celebrates well, supports each other, and cherishes all the special little things along the way: a gooey toasted marshmallow, a beautifully sung tune by street carolers, the glow of a twinkling light in the trees, the magic of a “ho-ho-ho”, and the awe of fireworks illuminating the night over a building that has weathered 160 years of holding down our city center.
In the end, we can all put our feet up, offer a toast to 2017 and say that, indeed, Mayville, It’s a Wonderful Life.