Here Come the Holidays – Festive Times Abound in Marshall, Illinois

Thanksgiving comes early this year, with Christmas not far behind. Of course, we are all excited about the food, fun, and family during this festive season (and for some football). For most of us, this means a big roasted or maybe deep-fried turkey and all the fixings. Does your family fight over how to make the stuffing? Is it meat or no meat, sage or cornbread? We all look forward to the many sides, like mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato with marshmallows on top, green bean casserole, and many other traditional family recipes. And let’s not forget dessert. Pumpkin pie, mincemeat, or apple, or do you have a different favorite? Or maybe you do banana pudding or cheesecake. Whatever the choices, by early evening, we are all in a food coma, fighting over whether to watch football or holiday movies. This is where two TVs in the house come in handy.

Whatever your traditions, we hope your Thanksgiving will be filled with kindness and peace. Put away your disagreements and enjoy food and fellowship. There is a lot to be upset about in the world today, but there is always something to be grateful for, too. Focus on why we call it “Thanksgiving.”

Speaking of fellowship, don’t forget to check in with our wonderful churches here in Marshall. Ask if there are families in need in their congregation that need some help. This can be a difficult time for many people who have economic woes or are alone for the holidays. Open your heart and perhaps your purse as need be. In Marshall, we know that we are all in this together.

One of our local churches, Marshall First Christian Church, is showing its community spirit this Sunday night, November 19, and everyone is invited. They are hosting a community-wide Thanksgiving service hosted by Paster Lance Leeds from the Trinity United Methodist Church. Paster Leeds will bring the message of hope and fellowship.

Offerings will be taken for the Marshall IL Backpack Food Program, which helps feed dozens of school children every weekend. Without this program, many of these kids might struggle to have enough food to eat. Let’s make sure they have a good holiday. Be part of this event, and if you can’t make it, check out the Backpack Food Program and support their efforts throughout the festive holiday season and year-round.


Here Comes Santa Claus, Ready or Not!

Christmas is just weeks away – WOW! Doesn’t it always feel like it comes at lightning speed? Black Friday starts the mad dash to get gifts, and Ewing Garden Barn wants you to know they are ready. The trees are coming in this week and are holding their opening day on Friday, November 24. They open at 10 am and will have their fresh Balsam fir trees ready for purchase. Wreaths, hanging baskets, and centerpieces can be purchased, too, and their super popular evergreen gnomes are making their appearance once again this year. Don’t forget to honor those we have lost. Ewing Garden Barn will also have lovely grave saddles and blankets ready for the gravesites.


Saturday is Shop Local Day all across America, and Marshall is no exception. There are many great places to buy gifts for loved ones without ever leaving town. Support your local businesses and look for great deals and bargains on Saturday in downtown Marshall. Enjoy a tremendous hot holiday beverage (peppermint hot chocolate or pumpkin spice latte, anyone?) and delicious seasonal baked goods at one of our fabulous coffee shops or cafes. Anyone can shop online, but where is the fun in that?


The Christmas Market is Back


One of our most popular holiday events during this festive season, is just around the corner. The Christmas Market returns the first weekend in December. Browse all the talented folks displaying and selling their wares at Harlan Hall on Saturday, December 2. Shopping hours are from 9 am to 4 pm. There will be dozens of vendors and crafters participating in this year’s Christmas Market, including our own Marshall Chamber of Commerce. Take advantage of this very popular event where you can get one-of-a-kind gifts.


Whatever your holiday plans, remember how lucky you are to live in or near Marshall, Illinois. There will be lots of activities to attend. We love visitors and welcome you to visit. Who knows, you might fall in love with the place and never leave!