If you want a living Christmas card scene, you know, one of those nostalgic settings filled with historic buildings, animated with holiday lights and decor, plus blessed with wholesome Midwesterners, Ripon, Wisconsin might suit your needs. This place brings that unpretentious, down home holiday vibe right into your soul. Sound cool? If so, during this holiday season, this sleepy town of 7,000 souls, with a main street resembling a life sized version of a miniature Christmas village, awaits you and your family.
Heidi, my lovable girlfriend, was a little distressed yesterday. So, being that we’ve done this before, and it has conjured improved spirits, we sought out a holiday setting.
I searched Travel Wisconsin and discovered a few small towns, all within the borders of Wisconsin, that sell themselves as Christmas towns. Ripon, the nearest town listed, being in the east central portion of the state, sounded like a good bet.
And immediately, as we started down Watson Street, a main street type avenue, we stumbled upon a store with plenty of Christmas decor.
And the vibes continued from there,
With holiday scenes in mostly every shop window,
Evergreen boughs heaped on the walk
and lights outlining every building along the way,
This setting did elicit a bit of early Christmas magic.
And, as we stepped from the chilly air, we found a cozy drinking spot, a brewery placed inside an aged structure.
Of course there were coffee shops, a one screen movie theater, a historic downtown hotel and other elements that screamed small Midwestern town.
In closing, as I recall the holiday music wafting along a chilly autumn breeze, and I don’t want to seem cheesy or over the top, but I get a sense of ‘It’s a Wonderful life’, and its quiet town of Bedford Falls. Who knows, while strolling Ripon’s streets, maybe you’ll stumble upon a Christmas angel, a seemingly ordinary Midwesterner, humbly going about his business.