This year I have had a new hometown to spend the holiday season in. After getting married in September, I packed a carload of things and moved in with my husband in northern Indiana.

Our city has a population of around 1,800 people, making it the perfect size of “not too big, not to small.”

I came from another small town a little further south in the state. Things up here are a little different — a little colder — but the similarities between my childhood home and my new home are many.

In both towns the holiday spirit is vibrant and uplifting. I’m not sure why I never paid attention to it before.

Homes are decorated in colorful lights, and church signs offer soup dinners for those who are hungry. Even the schools and small businesses are ready for winter with snowflake decals hanging on the windows.

And with all this snow up here this year, snowmen line the streets and wave as I drive by.

It makes me feel like, even though we live in a generation of technology and modern conveniences, time is standing still, like I still can hold on to some part of the past that hopefully might never change — kids playing outside and families sledding down the hill.

Even though we are moving forward fast in this technological revolution, some old-time traditions hold strong. And I believe that this is important.

People still want to help other people. People, here in my small town, still want to know their neighbors.

Sure it’s not a walk in the park. There are people who can’t enjoy the time of year because they don’t have the best family life.

There still are grumpy folks who honk and yell and complain. There always have been and always will be.

But there always is a spirit that ties people together this time of year. And that’s what I like best.

I feel lucky and proud to be part of another small town. Seeing people help others when they themselves are far from rich, talking with a stranger at the store to ask how their day is going — these are all things I love and don’t take for granted.

A big city is exciting, full of lights, new faces and new sights. But the warmth and charm of a small town on a cold winter day is irreplaceable. I wouldn’t change it for the world.