National holiday on a Thursday? When Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national holiday to be observed throughout the land he could guess at, but surely not foresee, its endurance or impact on our culture. He chose Thursday because it did not conflict with the sabbath days of the major religions. During the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it to the fourth Thursday to give retailers more time to sell goods before Christmas, and there Thanksgiving has stayed.
As I sat, gathered with new friends around a long table, many miles from my original home I saw many classic dishes, familiar since childhood, that no Thanksgiving would feel authentic without. I mused on how iconic this shared experience had become. Across the many cultures and cuisines that comprise the tapestry of our nation, on this Thursday one could sit at any feast table in America and find a dish they recognized. There are many adaptations and ethnic variations on the standard menu but it is all about Comfort Food, belonging, coming home, participation and connection. The memories, anticipation, and fulfillment of Thanksgiving are celebrated in the American soul.
For those who travel frequently, major holidays sometimes find them far from loved ones. One can’t help but contemplate the meaning of Thanksgiving themes: home, family, belonging, and of course, favorite foods! Seasoned travelers will tell you that the best way to really enjoy any adventure is to get to know the locals, that “family” can be found or made most anywhere.
Greenville really knows how to do holidays, so come hang out with us! Trade stories. Break bread. Share in celebrations! Here at the Swamp Rabbit Inn we take pride in making our guests feel cozy, comfy, welcome, and ‘at home’. Our philosophy is really just an extension of the warmth of Greenville itself. We want you to feel at ease here and enjoy all that we have to offer. If you’re visiting Greenville during the winter holidays there are plenty of opportunities for festive, frosty fun and we Inn-vite you to join us! The following list should provide a good start for finding holiday cheer.
Greenville is noted for its delightful downtown. Main Street has decked its historic corridor for a wondrous winter and gets the party started with the Poinsettia Christmas Parade, Saturday, December 5th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Come light the giant menorah on NOMA Square at Chanukah on Main. Traditional hot latkes and doughnuts will be served, with dreidels, games and chocolate gelt for the kids. December 6th starting at 4:30.
Next, dive right into a megadose of seasonal décor at the Hyatt Regency for the annual St Francis Festival of Trees display. Need decoration inspiration, or just a rush of childlike awe? This is for you. The fest includes the Martinis and Mistletoe event on Dec. 3rd and the Teddybear Luncheon on Dec. 5th. The trees are on display through December.
There's a great mix of live theater on Greenville's stages this season from traditional standards to the downright edgy. A Christmas Carol will cure you of your wicked ways, Dec. 11 - 20th and T'was the Night Before Christmas will enchant you Dec. 16 - 19th, both found at Greenville Little Theater. The International Ballet accompanied by The Greenville Symphony Orchestra will provide the Russian fantasy of The Nutcracker at the Peace Center, Dec. 11-13. Joyful voices rise for Christmas with the Chorale at Furman University, Dec. 11th at 7:30. Kids will love Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells Dec. 4 - 13th at the Peace Center's Gunter Theater. For something more adult, Christmas on the Rocks explores what might happen if all of your favorite children from the Christmas classics walk into a bar on a cold, winter’s night. What could go wrong? Playing at the Warehouse Theater, Dec. 4 - 20th.
Downtown Greenville Holiday Happening (Dec. 10 -14) is where to get your gift shopping on! Peruse Main Street shops in an atmosphere filled with music, food, art and entertainments while taking advantage of many discounts and special promotions. Here at the Swamp Rabbit Inn we kick off the event on Thursday, December 10th with our Holiday Hoppenings (aka #HolidayHop) Open House with unique local artisans filling the inn with unique local made gifts and some live music and holiday cheer! Stop by from 4 - 7pm. Not in town?? For all things Swamp Rabbit shop our online store!
Be dazzled by Roper Mountain Holiday Lights, now in its 24th year, nightly from now until Dec. 30th, 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Proceeds from Holiday Lights benefit Rotary Charities and educational programming for the Roper Mountain Science Center.
If you want to get old-fashioned, hop on over to Fountain Inn and stroll into the Spirit of Christmas Past Festival. A host of simple pleasures and classic holiday activities are on offer with a calendar of various events from Dec. 2 - 19th.
If you really want your socks knocked off visit TNT Holiday Light Display in Mauldin, SC from Dec. 1 - Jan. 1.
Whew! If all that does or doesn't give you holiday overload, Greenville has all the ingredients and quiet nature spaces to saddle up your imaginary reindeer and go in search of a holiday magic to call your own. The Swamp Rabbit Inn, Lodge, and Cottages will be here for you when you need to warm up, crash, re-group and commence the reveling afresh! Do I hear jingle bells...?