Hometown Christmas Scenes

Since early childhood, one of my favorite Christmas traditions has been driving through neighborhoods to enjoy the decorations and lights. Today, I’m sharing our drive around the area as we continue the tradition.

The weather was brisk, and the sky was clear, so it was a good time to wear my over the knee boots with leggings. (Wet weather would have required lug soles.) My boots are at least three years old, but they are plain, and they have a low heel to remain timeless. Here is a similar pair.

The leggings are made from a heavy opaque knit, and I am wearing them over black tights for more warmth. A styling tip for leggings is to wear them with extra-long tops. Here I’m wearing a long black and gray vest layered over a gray Merino wool turtleneck sweater. The red scarf and gloves add a festive touch.

VestLeggingsBootsSweaterScarfGlovesBagSunglassesPearl EarringsLipstick (Girl’s Night – Classic Red)

No part of our looks are new, so I have linked to similar items.

Mr. Mickey’s look includes items similar to the following… HatSunglassesScarfVestShirtBlazerTrousersShoes.

We did not discuss what we would wear, but he showed up wearing a similar color combo, as is often the case. We took photos of what we were wearing and a few photos of the Founders Park trees during daylight so that you could see some of the details. Local businesses and organizations decorated the trees. Read more about Christmas in the Park here.

We returned to the historic downtown to capture more photos after nightfall.

As we were leaving, I snapped photos of The Lady of the Fountain below and a few other familiar downtown sites.

Our outing included a short seven-mile drive to Jonesborough, which is the oldest town in Tennessee. It is always fun to pass by the decorated windows and storefronts.

February Hill Retreat House, built in 1832, is always the grand lady on the hill.

Above and below is the historic Jonesborough courthouse. Mr. Mickey’s office was there when he was the Assessor of Property for Washington County.

When we returned to Johnson City, we drove through our old neighborhoods, including the Tree Streets (all the streets have tree names) and the Gump Addition. (Locals know it as the Gump.) This historical neighborhood is situated about one mile northeast of downtown Johnson City; businessman Harry D. Gump purchased the property in 1907.

I lived in the right half of the duplex above when I met Mr. Mickey at a neighborhood Christmas party elsewhere in the Gump fifteen years ago.

Sharing my life and what I’ve learned has given me purpose and much delight over the years. Hearing from you is always a pleasure. Thank you for being part of this community.

I’m taking a short break, but I’ll be back with more tips and ideas next Tuesday. Wishing you a safe and peaceful Christmas.

Mary Ann Sestak is the winner of the scarf giveaway. Congratulations!

Shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

166 Comments
  1. Susan, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. I’m hopeful that 2021 will bring renewal for all of us. I look forward to your posts every week because they are so much more than fashion advice — they are about attitude and making the most of what we have in our lives. God bless!

  2. I find your posts so calming and delightful! What a respite during these crazy times.

    Hope you and My. Mickey enjoy the holiday season and find ways to rest, relax, recharge your batteries and find more wonder in our world.

  3. Thank you Susan for providing an interesting, informative and happy place to check into.
    I sincerely appreciate all the time, energy and work that you put into it for so many to benefit from.
    May God bless you and Mr. Mickey, merry Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Mickey, and all of your followers around the world. Tis the season to wish one another love, joy, and peace. These are my utmost wishes for all of you.

  5. Love the hometown sites! With roots in East Tennessee we frequently travel through and have gotten curious about your lovely city. Besides the sites you have shown above, are there other parts of Johnson CIty that you would recommend to visitors?

    Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Christmas>

    1. Asheville, NC, and all it has to offer is only about an hour away. The drive along Interstate 26 provides stunning mountain views. Roan Mountain Balds are less than an hour away. Visit the world’s largest natural rhododendron gardens atop 6,000 feet. Roan Mountain is worth the trip, but you can also hike the Appalachian Trail as it runs along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol, Elizabethton, and Jonesbourgh are a very short drive apart. Each town has its own unique shops, neighborhoods, parks, and restaurants. There are several family biking paths along old railroad beds and mountain biking trails in several parks. There are railroad museums, art museums, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The Great Smokie Mountains National Park is about an hour’s drive away also. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, are also wonderful to visit in the summer. They are also close by for a day trip.

  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family Susan. Once again you have shared some beautiful shots of the area. I love to drive into town and see all the streets lit up at this time of year. We may not have anyone see them, but I have added an extra tree this year just for us two to enjoy Thank you for keeping up with the blog in this very stressful year and enjoy your time off this week to celebrate and soak in the holiday.

  7. I have always loved driving around looking at Christmas lights since I was a little girl. My Mom would pile us in the car, buy hamburgers and fries (rare treat( and away we would go.

    Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

  8. Merry Christmas to you and yours! You have taught me so much about health, fashion, travel and having “an attitude of gratitude” and appreciation for the environment we find ourselves in.
    I enjoyed the pictures of the bright lights you shared, and am reminded that your blog was a source of comfort and pleasure and was a bright light for me in 2020.
    Thank you!

  9. Just lovely, Susan! I love driving to see the neighborhood Christmas lights too! You and Mr. Mickey always look elegant and suave. Merry Christmas from Pennsylvania! ❤️⛄️

  10. I love it when a community decorates their downtown and parks for the holidays. It shows such a sense of pride. My little town does a “Light Up The Park” display in the community park.
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey.

  11. Thank you for the tour.I have always enjoyed your trips and pictures .
    Wishes for a blessed and Merry Christmas and New Year.

  12. My parents lived in Johnson City after they were married. My father worked for the TVA and was working in the area. They also lived in Knoxville. It’s such a beautiful area. Thank you for sharing the photos of the Christmas decorations around Johnson City. I really enjoyed seeing the photos.

    Merry Christmas!

  13. Mr. Mickey looks “mahvelous”, as do you. This was such an enjoyable post, thank you for helping us get through 2020 with a little more class. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey.

  14. Merry Christmas, Susan!

    I always look forward to your blog and I appreciate all the time and effort you put into writing it.
    I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

  15. Wow, you and Mr. Mickey look especially attractive dressed so similar in colors. Loved the look on both of you.

    The red scarf made it somewhat festive but do you ever wear something whimsical around the house like a tee or sweatshirt with perhaps a star, angel, cardinal bird or snowman during the holidays or is everything basic and staid always?
    The extra pictures of the lights were as usual, very nice and makes a person want to jump into the picture and have a better look or maybe drive the same roads to see the same wonderful sights you share.

    Thanks again for a “tour” around your area to see the sparkling light displays.

    Clara from Iowa

  16. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey! Enjoy a break from blog posting and I will be looking forward to your return. Your blog is inspirational and informative.

  17. Thank you for the tour of your charming area. We missed our annual trip to Boston to see the the tree lighting and the interactive music and tree display at Quincy Market. All the shops and restaurants in the North End where my son lived would be festively decorated. We would shop, eat wonderful food and visit with my son and his friends. This year, we didn’t see Boston and won’t see my son. So looking at festive scenery lightens my spirit. Thank you. So until we can travel again, Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing.

  18. Merry Christmas! You’re making me homesick. We get back quite often, but we will miss seeing the lights at Founders Park and the university.

  19. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos, especially the ones with all the tress decorated in a different single color. There’s something very heartwarming and comforting about seeing a photo of you and Mr. Mickey dressed in the spirit of the holiday at this time of year. People can easily lose hope with all the changes that have taken place, and you both have taken us away from our dismal thoughts and given us a reminder of the wonderment of this season. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you both.

  20. What a treat Susan, thank you so much for sharing the wonderful pictures of your holiday tour. Have a very merry Christmas!

  21. Such a stylish couple! Love seeing the Christmas lights and decorations. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey

  22. You are so fortunate to have such interesting and beautiful sights near you. Thank you for sharing. Hope you have a peaceful Christmas and 2021 brings good you and Mr Mickey good health .

  23. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey! Thank you for bringing so much fun and interesting information on travel, health and fashion! I discovered your blog earlier this year and will remain a devoted reader. Thank you so much!

  24. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Susan and Mr. Mickey. I enjoy your blog and the variety you give related to fashion, food, products, scenery and so much more. It is refreshing and informative. So many times it makes me smile! These days anything that brings a smile to us is certainly worth while and needed. Thank you so much.

  25. Did Mr. Mickey do the Santa event this year? I was hoping if he did that there would be pictures of the children with him – always a delight to see them.

  26. You’ve shown us the vest before, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s so becoming on you and looks toasty warm. Isn’t it amazing how some red accessories make all the difference! Lovely!
    I think you should reserve that nice retreat center for some time after we’re all vaccinated and we can come to a retreat there and learn more good tips. I’d come for sure!

  27. I love seeing your pictures and stories. I live in northern maine so your is a different culture. Keep it up and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  28. Thank you for taking me on the lovely tour of your city. It is beautiful. I especially enjoyed seeing the house where you and Mr. Mickey met at a Christmas party!
    Merry Christmas!!

  29. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey! ! Enjoy your holiday time off. I just wanted to thank you for all the great fashion tips and peeks into your closets, home etc. Very enjoyable because none of us are getting out much, so it’s great to “be along” on your various adventures and side trips with you and Mr. Mickey.

  30. YOU TWO are the BEST!! THANK YOU for sharing. May the holidays and 2021 bring good health and happiness to YOU and Mr. Mickey.

  31. What a lovely, nostalgic trip this was for me! When you said as a child you loved to ride around and look at the lights, I recalled that my parents bundled us up in the car and we always drove through the Gump Addition.

    My grandmother lived on Maple Street, so we got to enjoy the Tree Street decorations, too.

    I must say, Mr. Mickey looks like he stepped out of Gentleman’s Quarterly Magazine! He always did have such style. And you, as beautiful and stylish as ever.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey!

  32. What a joy to visit these sites, I am far away in B.C. Canada, so will probably never see this in person. I especially enjoy seeing the old historic homes. Thank you for this, and your blog which I enjoy always. Best Wishes to you and Mr. Mickey, for a healthy holiday and a new year full of vaccine and no isolating! Ann Lee S

  33. Thank you for sharing your part of the country. It is always a treat to see how other towns decorate and a glimpse of the nightlife!

    Have a safe holiday!

    DJ

  34. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey. As always, thank you for sharing your life with your blog family.
    Blessings for a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.

  35. Merry Christmas, Susan and Mr. Mickey! I enjoyed the trip through your area, with its beautiful older homes and downtowns. You and Mr. Mickey also look quite dashing. It’s fun to see his wardrobe selections, as well as yours. Here’s to a wonderful New Year, 2021!

  36. Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures! I hope you and Mr. Mickey have a safe and blessed holiday.
    Merry Christmas!

  37. Thank you once again, Susan, for sharing your adventures with us! Following your site has been a bright spot in this trying year. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey, and best wishes for a healthy and bright New Year!

  38. Have a Happy Christmas. Thank you for including all of us in your Christmas Lights Drive. What a beautiful night.

  39. Hi Susan, lovely holiday pics! I ordered the merino Margot sweater after you introduced it in red. Glad I got it before it sold out in my size. I haven’t worn it yet. Some reviews on the J. Crew website say it doesn’t launder well, and some suggest to dry clean, even though the instructions say you can machine wash. Just wondering what you recommend? The fabric is lovely. Thank you!

    1. Mandy, I gently hand-washed the Margot and laid flat to dry but the bottom of the sweater had to take considerable damp pressing to get back in shape. I will dry clean in the future. This is just my experience. I do hand wash some cashmere with success. Shrinkage was not a problem.

        1. Thanks to all! I am thinking of ordering the ultra thin “Tissue Turtleneck,” from J Crew, to wear underneath, so I won’t have to launder the merino wool one as often. Hope it doesn’t add too much bulk!

  40. A wonderful tour. I couldn’t get out this year to see the decorations but I’ll bet they were pretty. They decorate a lot along the coast with special displays and concerts you can see and hear from your car. Thank you for letting us enjoy this trip with you. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a new year of your wonderful blog.

  41. Have a wonderful Christmas, Susan. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely community and the beautiful holiday decorations. I just got my crimson band jacket from Macy’s this week – it’s perfect for our southern California weather. Blessings – DeeDee Stephens

  42. Beautiful pictures! We live in Austin, Texas, and miss the snow we had in Pennsylvania. I particularly loved to walk at night as the snow was falling and it was so quiet and the snow would glisten. It was like everything is right in the world. Merry Christmas to you

  43. Merry Christmas to you and Mr Mickey, I really enjoyed those beautiful Christmas decorations and seeing some of your local area. Thank you so mush Susan. Regards, Carol

  44. Thank you for the cheery tour of your area, loved the different coloured trees. Thanks also for your words of wisdom throughout the year.
    Wishing you and Mr Mickey a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

  45. Your blog has given me a lot of pleasure this year, thankyou!
    I would like to wish you and Mr Mickey a very joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year. X

  46. Thank you for sharing with us your Christmas Hometown Drive. It is a pleasure reading your post. Merry Christmas to you and enjoy your holiday.

  47. Always a treat to open my emails and see your post Susan..much good health and happy holidays to you and Mr. Mickey..see you in 2021!

  48. Susan

    I am so glad I discovered your blog this year. Thank you for all the information, hints, and tours.

    Wishing you and Mr. Mickey a Joyous Christmas and a better 2021.

  49. Susan, thanks for taking us along ! I also love riding around looking at Christmas decorations. It’s the simple things that make life good. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey.

  50. Thanks again for the glimpse into your world. My aunt, her daughter & SIL live outside of Clarksville so your pics make me think of our visits with them.

    Wishing you & Mr. Mickey joyful holidays!

  51. Wishing you an Mr. Mickey Peace, Joy and Good Health in the New Year. It’s always a day brightener to visit your blog. Even thought we’ve never met, I feel as if I’ve come to know you through this wonderful and informative blog. Thank you for sharing your life and knowledge with us Susan. Merry Christmas!!

  52. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. Best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy new year!

  53. Enjoyed the Christmas photos. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the best in the New Year. Always enjoy your posts.

  54. Susan,

    Thank you for sharing not only your outfits but your outings. I feel like I’m along for the ride with you and Mr. Mickey.

    May you both have a blessed and safe Christmas.

    Sharon

  55. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey health and happiness this Christmas and all good things in 2021.

  56. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Thank you for the photos, style tips and food info that you share all year long.

  57. Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your life with all of us. You have added inspiration in many areas of mu journey in this time of challenges. Thank you, Rose

  58. Thank you, Susan, for sharing photos of Johnson City ‘dressed-up’ for Christmas. Our oldest don lives there & we won’t be together for Christmas. So seeing these photos makes me feel a little closer to him.
    I also enjoyed photos of Jonesborough, as we have attended several Intl. Storytelling festivals there.

    Hope you & Mr. Mickey have a blessed & peaceful celebration of Christmas.

    Be well. Stay safe!
    Kathleen Strodtbeck
    (Collierville, TN.)

    Our town square is beautifully lit-up this year!
    Check it out!

  59. Merry Christmas Susan and Mickey! Thanks for classic style tips and other interesting pointers from your routines. Looking forward to reading your words in 2021. Donna and Michael

  60. I have enjoyed every post over the past few years and you have delighted all of us with your marvelous travel photos. Thank You. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Healthy New Year!

  61. Thank you Susan for sharing your thoughts on so many issues that we care about….and you connect so personally with your readers. You are a special gift to all your followers. Have a wonderful Merry Christmas and enjoy this special time with loved ones. May 2021 be filled with abundant blessings …..a vaccine, a return to normalcy and travel!! Looking forward to your posts in the new year!
    Susan

  62. Thank you for your uplifting posts. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey. Wishing both of you health and happiness.

  63. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for sharing your community with me, I so enjoyed going down memory lane with you. I think seeing lights up is so pretty and it helps lift your spirits. The month of December is not always an easy month for people. On the UP side
    of life, you give so much to others and YOU put so much of yourself into everything you know and do on your blog. The world would be a much better place if we took the blessings we have and blessed someone else, like what YOU always do.

    Wish you and your family and your Adventure Partner Mr. Mickey a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

    Your are a Blessing to so many.

    Warmly,
    Katherine Allan in Arizona

  64. Merry Christmas Susan and Mr Mickey! May you have a blessed Christmas and wishes for a very healthy and happy New Year. Thank you for the several years of fashion inspiration and motivation to enjoy everyday life by discovering simple joys. You have shared so much of yourself and your talents with so many.

  65. Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of the historic area in which you live, I really enjoy them!
    Best wishes to you and Mr Mickey for a happy Christmas and New Year.

  66. Thank you for the lovely photos! I’m in an area where the virus is surging so I stay home as much as possible. Seeing you and Mr. Mickey and reading about your adventures brings cheer to my days. Thanks for sharing.

  67. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas . I love seeing the beautiful pictures of your part of the country and the fun outings that you and Mr. Mickey take.

  68. A very Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey. Be Safe, be blessed and be happy.
    Loved your outfit the scarf and gloves were so joyful. I have quite a few pair of leather gloves, but no red…darn…

  69. I was born in Memphis and spent the 1st 11 years in Memphis and Nashville. I love your tours into the country, and if it weren’t for a bad fir tree allergy, I would have gladly retired to Tennessee. Thanks for the memories! Thanks, too, for all the tips. I’m short and large busted, so I really appreciate the hints on visually minimizing that area! A blessed Christmas to you!

  70. Love these drives you take through the areas around you. So striking with beautiful houses and downtown areas. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  71. Merry Christmas, Susan and Mr. Mickey. May you be blessed with good health and happiness. You are truly a bright spot in my day!

    Tricia

  72. Thank you for all the time spent creating inspiring photos and informative narratives. It is so well done! Sending you and Mr Mickey wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and safe New Year!

  73. Thank you for including us in your drive to view the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. You both look very festive.
    Wishing you and Mr. Mickey a very Merry Christmas.

    Bev

  74. What a beautiful and festive post! I enjoyed it so much! Merry Christmas to you and Mr Mickey!! Stay safe and be well.

  75. I love red, it is such a happy color to wear especially this time of year. Love those pearl earrings! Thank you for sharing the Christmas lights, so nice. Tomorrow is my birthday and after the 6 p.m. Christmas Eve service at our church, we too will be driving through various neighborhoods to look at the pretty lights and decorations. Merry Christmas!

  76. Thank you for sharing Susan. The lights are always a beacon of better days to come and in no year more than this.
    Have yourselves a merry little Christmas. Roll on 2021 and the vaccine ….

  77. Thank you for the beautiful pictures you have taken for us.
    I love your red scarfs !
    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey !
    YOU give me inspiration and purpose!
    Go on dear Susan in the new year !

  78. I just found you and am so excited to read your blog and watch your YouTube channel. Keep the tips coming.

  79. Dearest Susan,
    Thank you so much for sharing the stories & photos with us…they are beautiful. May
    The gift of love
    The gift of joy
    The gift of peace
    The gift of happiness &
    The gift of good health
    Be yours this Christmas
    Love & prayers
    Margie xx ( Brisbane Australia)

  80. hi Susan. I really enjoy your blog. Your area of the country is beautiful! Thank you for all your efforts in helping us to be more attractive and healthy. Let’s all hope we have an awesome 2021!

  81. You and Mr. Mickey look so nice together in your coordinating attire! I thought it was on purpose until you said not.
    The pictures are so nice to see of our town. There are some beautiful lights around here.! I really enjoyed Founder’s Park walking all through on my birthday, the 21st!

  82. You have often requested suggestions for subject matters. This is mine. How to select and care for leather gloves. Also how to store leather gloves for the next season.

  83. I subscribed to your blog for several years but for some reason never receive it anymore. Please add me to your list. Your blog is lovely

    1. Thank you, Jane. I added your email address for you. You’ll receive a confirmation email in a few minutes. Please follow the link in it to confirm your subscription. If the email takes more than 15 minutes to appear in your mailbox, please check your spam folder.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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