Here is a great Facebook post idea for you. Ask your friends to name something that most people in their city and community have done, at least once, but that they personally have yet to visit.
Here is mine: I’ve lived in Wilmington since 2006, and until the other night I had never gone to Enchanted Airlie.
Oh, I had my reasons. First, it can be cold in December…who wants to be outside walking around at night? Secondly, the tickets go on sale in either late October or early November, long before I am in the Christmas spirit. There have been several years when I wanted to go, but by the time I had got into the mood, the event was all sold out. Finally, did I mention it can get cold in December?
But at long last, after 12 years, I have made the journey and in many ways feel like I am a real Wilmingtonnian.
It really was a matter of luck. Several weeks ago a coworker bought tickets. Her purchase reminded me that if I didn’t want to miss out this year… then I should probably do the same. I ended up buying three tickets (each ticket is good for a carload) and gave the other two away to friends from church. In my car were my 14-year-old son, my 22-year-old step daughter and two of her college friends.
My expectations were low. Honestly, if you have seen one strand of Christmas lights, you more or less have seen them all. Having said that, I have to tell you that I was shocked at what a good time we all had.
Yes, the garden looks beautiful at Christmas. The laser show was incredible, the display with the singing trees where the lights were synchronized to the music was amazing (someone posted a youtube video here), and we really enjoyed all the artistic gnomes that greeted you at each display.
But more than all that, what made the night really special, was just the time spent with family and friends… going out and having a shared experience, oohing and aahing together.
Christmas is meant to be spent with others, not just the day but the entire season. As a kid, we went sledding together or caroling… when was the last time you saw carolers? December was about being around other people, and didn’t everyone just seem nicer throughout the month. But these days Christmas seems more like an individual thing. We shopped on line alone, and many of the events that gave us a sense of community have faded away.
In those few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Airlie Gardens brings it all back. And, I for one plan to come back again. That is, If I can remember when the tickets go on sale in the fall.
By the way, Enchanted Airlie runs through the 22nd of the month. But if you didn’t get your tickets. it’s too late. The event completely sold out several weeks ago.