Trent’s Mill News — Who did you hire to string Christmas lights?

Published 9:24 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

Everyone loves driving around to see Christmas lights or turning on your own at home with a pre-lit tree. But did you know that way back in the beginning, the whole thing was a bit different? You didn’t just go out to the store, buy a box of lights and string them up yourself. In 1903, when General Electric started selling pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights for the first time, that was just step one. Step two involved hiring someone to install them.

According to the Library of Congress, “the wiring of electric lights was very expensive and required the hiring of the services of a wireman, our modern-day electrician. To light an average Christmas tree with electric lights by 1903, it would have cost $2,000 in today’s dollars.”

Today, you don’t have to go find a wireman. Anybody can buy a box of lights and string up a tree, or hang lights on all sorts of places outside. You’ll have a chance to see that starting on Friday, Dec. 9 at Bear Creek Lake State Park. The park, located at 22 Bear Creek Lake Road in Cumberland, will host their ninth annual drive through light show on Dec. 9-11. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. each night, with proceeds going to benefit the Cumberland Christmas Mother program. Admission to the event will be a new unwrapped toy or a monetary donation to the Cumberland Christmas Mother.

Additional activities include a free “make your own ornament station, light fare and seasonal merchandise available for a purchase, a s’mores roasting campfire, plus a take-away grilled chicken dinner on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Meanwhile, I’ve been asked about this some, so here’s a list of the Christmas parades still coming up in our area. On Friday, Dec. 9, Blackstone will hold their Christmas parade at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 10, Powhatan’s Christmas parade starts in their downtown at 3 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 11, the Cumberland Christmas parade begins at 2 p.m. and finally, one week later on Sunday, Dec. 18, the Dillwyn Christmas parade begins at 3 p.m.

And once you’ve seen Santa pass through on one of these parades this weekend, stop by Browns Chapel. The church, located at 1711 Gravel Hill Road in Dillwyn, will host their annual Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. This year’s theme will be “Christ mess and only God can turn a message into a message”. Following this, there will be refreshments in the church fellowship hall.

Cedar Baptist Church, located at 3932 Bell Road in Dillwyn, will also have their Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 11. Their version will take place a little later in the day, beginning at 5 p.m. This year’s theme will be “Just a little Christmas.” Following this will be a special guest appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, then everyone is invited to join the congregation for a time of refreshments in the church fellowship hall.

Now I do need to take a break from talking about Christmas for just a moment and ask you to mark something else down on your calendar. The Cumberland County Landfill Alert Committee, a non-profit organization, will be hosting their regular monthly meeting on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m. at 71 Community Center Drive in Cumberland.

It will be a joint meeting with AMMD, the Pine Grove Project and Cumberland County Landfill Alert Committee. The continued purpose of these meetings is to inform Cumberland County residents and surrounding counties about the serious impact this Mega Landfill will have on you and your neighbors, giving you the most current update.

Did you mark that down? Good. Let’s get back to talking about local Christmas services.

Tar Wallet Baptist Church, located at 150 Tar Wallet Road in Cumberland, will hold Christmas Eve services on Saturday, Dec. 24. The service starts at 6 p.m., with Pastor Alan Gough delivering the message. Refreshments will follow after the service. Then one day later, Christmas Day services at Tar Wallet begin at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Sunday School.

Cedar Baptist Church, located at 3932 Bell Road in Dillwyn, will hold their Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Then on Christmas Day, there won’t be any Sunday School, but worship will begin at 11 a.m.

Finally this week, happy birthday wishes go out to the following people. Nancy Midkiff of Cumberland celebrates on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Teresa Ragland of Teresa’s Place in Dillwyn, Stephany Bowers of Vito’s in Cumberland and John Dimmie of Farmville are all having birthdays on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

I say hello to a special friend, Rae Wooton from Mechanicsville.

And as always, our thoughts and prayers go out this week to the sick and shut in everywhere.

Annie May Miles is the columnist for Trent’s Mill. She can be reached at