Christmas In July?

sweaterSubmitted By Jan Ballard
MSU Extension–Choctaw County

No, but it is not too early to be planning ahead. Christmas can be many things to many people, but one attribute it can reveal in both children and adults is that of imagination. Using one’s imagination can bring forth joy, and creativity, and help build memories for a lifetime. There are moments when our imagination can be spontaneous, and then there are times we might need to plan ahead.

For the 2016 Choctaw County Holiday Open House (sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension and Choctaw County Library) two contests are being offered (one new, one old and expanded) to allow participants’ imaginations to grow beyond current boundaries! This will be the year for the 2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater AND Ugly Hat Contest and the 1st Folk Fibbery (tall tale) Contest. Closer to the December 8th date, more detailed lists of contest rules will be available, but to help residents begin to expand their thinking process, here are some basics.

2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater and Hat Contest:

Contestants will be divided into age brackets – adults, teens and youth.
Besides a hand-knit or hand-crocheted sweater, a contestant may enter an embellished sweatshirt or t-shirt.

Ugly Christmas hats will also be judged separately from the sweaters.

All entries need to be decorated for a family–friendly audience.

1st Annual Folk Fibbery Contest:

Story should be original, with original content, and last between 3-5 minutes.
Any topic is allowed, but must be appropriate for family audiences. (Think Paul Bunyan, Calamity Jane or Pecos Bill)

Humor, exaggerations, a problem for the hero to solve and props are all encouraged.
Story must be told, not read from a paper.

So, start looking for ugly sweater ideas and begin to think of a crazy, outlandish, make-believe story little by little. Then on December 8th, besides some of the traditional activities we all enjoy at Holiday Open House, such as a visit from Santa, crafts for children, a Christmas tree decorating contest, tasting MSU ice cream, three guest Mississippi authors, and musical selections, there will be a wonderful day of sharing our imaginations and building memories.