Miss A Columnist

Kara Franker is an experienced journalist and video host, Kara generates content for magazines, websites and television. Residing in Miami, Florida, Kara received her law degree from the University of Denver and her journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Christmas In The Country Event Brings Small Town To Life

There’s a charming small town in the middle of America’s heartland where residents come together for one very special occasion every year. The two-day event in Oxford, Kansas, is called Christmas in the Country. Visitors can experience holiday home tours, taste homemade cuisine, sit on Santa’s lap, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and shop local art.

The event provides more than a family-friendly gathering place to celebrate the holidays. It’s an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to invest in the local community.

The Old Oxford Mill (Photo Credit: Kara Franker)

The Old Oxford Mill (Photo Credit: Kara Franker)

For example, entrepreneurship students will run a restaurant at The Old Oxford Mill, a historic landmark built in 1874. The students learn the basics: everything from marketing and accounting to business operations and economic concepts.

Art teacher, Casi Hamilton, is directing a group of young artists to paint the town – literally. Oxford art students are designing holiday themes on windows of local businesses to add to the festive Christmas spirit.

Kay Dee Potucek, owner of a wonderful little flower shop called Primarily Plants, is one of the business leaders in the community who makes sure the event is successful each year.

Fashion boutique owner, Kim Silhan, has been stocking her trendy Red Feather Boutique with unique clothing items, jewelry and other accessories in preparation for Christmas in the Country. Kim and her staff also donate clothes to a local women’s shelter. And don’t think for a moment that just because this little shop is in a rural area, that you’ll only find flannel shirts and cowboy boots. It’s quite the opposite, actually. I live in Miami, Florida — where I have every brand, style and store at my fingertips — and I still couldn’t walk out of the Red Feather Boutique without several bags on my arms.

Red Feather Boutique owner, Kim Silhan, with shoppers Shelly Graves and Casi Hamilton (Photo Credit: Kara Franker)

Red Feather Boutique owner, Kim Silhan, with shoppers Shelly Graves and Casi Hamilton (Photo Credit: Kara Franker)

Why are small towns like Oxford and events like Christmas in the Country so important?

It’s about the people. For me, visiting a place like Oxford, takes me back to a simpler, kinder way of life. It’s a town where hospitality and generosity take center stage.

According to CNNMoney, which releases a list of the 50 best small towns in America each year, small towns can thrive economically, have great school systems and empower a strong sense of community. Although some rural communities like Oxford have experienced hard times, there is hope for these towns. And we can support the efforts of local business leaders to rejuvenate the community. Start by attending Christmas in the Country, and see this tiny little town come to life.

WHAT: Christmas in the Country in Oxford, Kan.

WHEN: November 29 & 30, 2013

WHERE: Start at the Red Feather Boutique located at: 100 N. Sumner, Oxford, KS 67119. For more information call 620-455-3636 or visit the event website.

TICKETS: Buttons for the event cost $2 and can be purchased through Oxford’s Chamber of Commerce.

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