Grab the tinsel and mistletoe and hit the road through some small Mississippi towns filled with big Christmas cheer.
Canton, MS at Christmas
Credit: Southern Living

There's no need to wait until the holiday rush to start planning your trip over the river and through the woods to see beautifully decorated trees, gorgeous nativity scenes, and light displays that would rival Rudolph's nose. The folks over at Only In Your State have put together an itinerary that will take holiday merrymakers on a tour of some of Mississippi's biggest displays of Christmas cheer for a quick weekend trip packed with holiday fun.

The fun starts in Tylertown, where the Holmes County Water Park is transformed into a winter wonderland with over 40 acres of Christmas fun. From there, head over to Purvis, where the Lewis Lights family has been putting on a memorable holiday display for over two decades, complete with 200,000 twinkling lights.

Saddle up Dasher and Dancer, as you drive to "Merry Meridian", where the Christmas cheer takes over the entire town, with light displays and a lot of holiday fun.

For more Yuletide action, drive over to Oxford, one of the South's best Christmas towns. The whole city gets in on the fun with gingerbread villages, ornament auctions, caroling, and of course Santa's workshop and elaborate Christmas displays. It's all capped off with a Christmas parade that winds through the town.

The charming town of Blue Mountain is home to one of the largest holiday displays in the South—Christmas in Cotton Plant. The festive display spans over 12 acres filled with homemade Christmas displays, inflatable Christmas scenes, holiday trees, caroling, nativity scenes, Santa and the Grinch, and hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights lighting up the night sky.

Next head to Southaven for the annual Southern Lights show, that transforms Central Park into a magical holiday world. The 116-acre park will be transformed into a winter wonderland thanks to 500,000 twinkling lights and Christmas music on every radio station. Be sure to check out the Christmas Tree Farm, where the lights are synchronized to music by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

While your map may say "Canton", come Christmas the town is renamed "The City of Lights" thanks to some 200,000 glittering lights that set the streets aglow. Get your cameras ready, because the town is beautifully decorated from the Historic Courthouse Square to the old-fashioned carousel and vintage carriage rides. Top it all off with a Victorian festival and visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

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From there it's just a hop-skip-and-a jump in Santa's sleigh (or the family Ford) to Madison, for the annual Christmas celebration, the Richardson Light Show. Celebrate the season with over 100,000 lights, Christmas characters, and a 23-foot animated tree.

End the Yuletide road trip in Natchez, where all six stories of the historic Longwood plantation are strewn with lights, greenery, and elaborate decorations. Then head down to the Riverfront shops to make merry and take in more lights and sights.

For a customizable driving map, head to Only In Your State.