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Holiday activities abound across Warren County
Flip the Switch - kids.jpg
Downtown McMinnville is once again lit up like a Christmas tree with Christmas lights illuminating the area every night at dark. Enjoying the lights on Court Square are siblings, from left, Sassy Jefferson, Drake Jefferson and Carter Jefferson.

December just started, but West Elementary already looks like a Christmas wonderland.

The school has literally decked the halls. Each hall in the school is decorated in Christmas lights and Christmas trees. Teachers had the opportunity to decorate their own trees for a contest to see who made the best tree. Some teachers have even decorated their doors or the wall outside their classrooms.

Third-grade teacher Katie Bussel went with The Grinch theme and created a huge fireplace out of paper with the Grinch coming out of it. She also included stockings with her students’ names.

“We wanted to make it a winter wonderland,” said Bussel. “We chose the Grinch and we just like to make it fun for the kids. We think all the lights make it like a wonderland for them.”

For her tree, she had her students make Grinch faces out of handprints and even had them use their thumbprints to create hearts on green ornament balls.

“They put paint in the ornaments and shook them and made them all tie-dye,” said Bussel

Kelci Bandy’s class created ornaments out of wood with her students’ pictures on them to put on her class tree. She also had some pinecone and plaid ornaments decorating her tree. West Elementary principal Michelle Lewis’ tree had a snowman theme, with a snowman head as the tree topper.

Each year West Elementary tries to do something to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Bussel said one year teachers just decorated their doors, and one year her hallway committed to a “Polar Express” theme. The winner of the class tree contest will be determined further into December.

Warren County Middle School is indulging in the Christmas spirit as well. The school lobby is decorated with scenes from the popular holiday film “Christmas Vacation.”

Perhaps the most visible of all Christmas displays are the sprawling lights that illuminate Court Square and much of downtown McMinnville. There are an estimated 90,000 lights in the downtown area and a Flip the Switch ceremony was held last weekend to officially launch this year’s display.