It’s literally beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All it took was for that very cool air to circulate down here to Southeast Louisiana on Sunday, and you suddenly had the feel of the holidays, didn’t you?

Christmas is a great time for me, since I just like the feel of people wanting to get together, having fun, and doing things for others.

Speaking of Christmas, you can get a jump-start on some of the fun this Friday, Dec. 5 at Reserve Telecommunications (RTC) in their Reserve office, where Santa will be making an advance appearance before his big trip on December 25.

That’s right, you can grab the kids and go to the RTC office in Reserve at 203 West Fourth St. from 1 to 5 p.m., where the big guy will make an early, holiday appearance.

The idea by RTC and General Manager Bill Ironside is actually to do just what I mentioned—helping others.

RTC is not only gathering food for needy families this season, but they are also collecting toys that will be wrapped and given out to needy children this Christmas.

So bring a new, unwrapped toy for the toy drive, or bring some non-perishable food items to the RTC office, and you can have a free photo with Santa.

Toys will be donated to the Santa for St. John Toy Drive, and food goes to the St. John Ministry of Care.

Another great Christmas tradition will take place at Oak Alley plantation this Saturday, December 6 at 7 p.m., when they will hold their annual Christmas Bonfire Celebration.

This is the 32nd year that Oak Alley is continuing the tradition, which involves an entire evening of food, fun and special events, all for tickets of $125 per person.

The evening begins with a wonderful buffet meal prepared by new Chef Donna Spears, then music by Misbehavin’ will be offered.

At 8 p.m., the brass quintet will lead the traditional parade up the illuminated alley to the levee for the lighting of the bonfire and caroling on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Back to the mansion for dancing until midnight, which includes serving coffee, hot chocolate and beignets until midnight.

This is one of the most popular events of the year at Oak Alley and sells quickly. Dress code is festive holiday attire or semi-dressy.

They are also offering their Sunday Christmas Brunch on Dec. 7, 14 and 21st , which is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of those days.

Additionally, the Oak Alley Plantation Gift Shop is extending a 10 percent discount for all purchases in the gift shop during the Sunday Brunch.

For more information, call 225-265-2151.

And you know you have got to mark your calendars for what is certainly one of the best holiday traditions here in the River Parishes. (And believe me, there are a lot of them.)

The annual “Festival of the Bonfires,” will be held in Lutcher Park in St. James Parish on Friday through Sunday, Dec. 12-14.

This is the huge event in Lutcher which is connected to the wonderful tradition of the bonfires along the river.

But in this case, many of those bonfires will be lit at locations on the levee at 7 each night, except Sunday at 6 p.m.

Along with the fun of watching those bonfires will be a huge morning, afternoon and evening of fun, music and food at Lutcher park.

The festival begins on Friday at 4 p.m. and continues until midnight, followed by a Saturday schedule of 8 a.m. until midnight, then an 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. wrapup on Sunday.

Check the ads we are running in L’Observateur for a more detailed schedule, but most of all, mark your calendars!

Another of my favorite messages from church bulletins:

“This evening at 7 p.m. there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.”

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at