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20221221 Christmas Parade 02 webBy Henry Miller

Apparently, grandma did get run over by reindeer.

She ended up at the Seven Oaks Resort Illuminated Golf Cart Parade over the weekend, still sprawled on the ground with her walker cast aside, and other evidence strewn atop a trailer pulled by a golf cart.

Yeah, that last part wasn’t in the song – just at Seven Oaks.

The annual Christmas festivities have been in full swing at the park and activity director Peter Loring said there’s a sense of more happiness and joy celebrating this year now that the fear – maybe not the threat – of COVID-19 and the flu have subsided.

20221221 Christmas Parade 03 web“You can tell that people are much happier – sure there’s still stuff hanging over our shoulders about COVID or the flu, but nobody seems particularly alarmed anymore. One guy just got back here during the middle of last week and said, ‘Now I really feel at home – I’m having my coffee and doughnuts.’

“People are happy, even more so when they see what’s been done to upgrade the appearance of the park.”

The golf cart parade was just one of several Christmas celebrations, with more to come this week including a Saturday Happy Hour from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and a Sunday Christmas dinner – with the largest number of people signed up for the meal that Loring can remember, already with more than 130.

Golf Carts rode through the streets with snow, a seemingly endless supply of lights, gifts, elves and, of course, Santa. Following the parade, residents enjoyed the lighting of the manger where they gathered to sing Christmas carols. After that, they gathered indoors to enjoy a hot chocolate bar – with cookies, marshmallows, sprinkles and more.

20221221 Christmas Parade 06 web“It was the best show we’ve had,” Loring said. “People really enjoyed it.”

The park then threw a gift exchange Christmas party and watched a recording from 2017 when residents created a 12 Days of Christmas skit.

“We played a game where the presents kept moving left, right and all over the place being sent around the tables,” Loring said. “Finally, everyone opened them, and we had some snacks and people brought their own drinks.”

Loring, from the upper Atlantic region – Vermont, Maine and thereabouts – said that he wasn't sure what the turnout would be for the Christmas celebration and was a bit nervous. However, more than 100 in attendance signified that joy had overflowed throughout the park. Loring said attendance at the park is growing (despite the loss of grandma).

20221221 Christmas Parade 04 web“We’re definitely getting more full than it’s been for the past three years,” he said. “Heard there are a lot of people coming in and others talking about moving in next year too. It’s definitely encouraging.”

Saturday’s Christmas Eve Happy Hour, followed by the park’s Christmas dinner on Sunday – with turkey, ham stuffing (or dressing, depending on where one is from), mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls will be provided by the park. Everyone else signs up to bring a dish to fill in any blank spots.

Just don’t expect to see grandma. We all know what happened there.

If you want to know more about Seven Oaks, visit their website at https://www.loc8nearme.com/texas/mission/seven-oaks-resort/7038747/

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