Where It’s At

The holiday prep begins!

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 10:45am

“Now we don our gay apparrel, fa-la-la, fa-la-la, la-la-la …”

There I go again. Singing Christmas carols … I don’t know why … I hear Steve Edwards, downstairs in production, has started singing them, too.

And who could help it? Boothbay Lights is kicking off this month with Gardens Aglow on the 14th (Insert a Mr. Bill “oh, nooooo!” face here), and the lighting contest is coming – so is Santa on the Common the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the North Pole Express over at Boothbay Railway Village will be firing up as well.

“Old toy trains, little toy tracks … Little toy drums coming from a sack … Carried by a man dressed in white and red ...”

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ 600,000 lights will be drawing holiday revelers from near and far again this year ... wonder what they have in store for this year’s extravaganza?! Magic may be cast in many ways ...

But ... before all the Christmas and Yule tunes (yes there are Yule/Winter Solstice songs, too) there is the Early Bird Sale & PJ Party here Saturday, Nov. 23. Not all shoppers at the Early Bird sales in other towns take to the streets in their sleeping attire, but here … we are fun-spirited for sure – and have no problem showing our bleary-eyed early morning faces to the neighborhood!

Our fun-lovin’ merchants annually offer super discounts (especially during what I like to call the “wee hours of the morning,” you know, before 9 a.m.) and can often be found serving up hot chocolate in a traditional nightcap – no, not that kind, the one worn in Dickens’ day. Some folks around here get pretty geared up for these Early Bird events … and some of us, well, we’re more night owl than early bird, like larks. I mean, on the weekends I don’t even want to speak to anyone right away. Just put on the classical music, the coffee pot … and while away the morning hours. Look for a preview in this week’s paper ...

The Gardens Aglow Holiday Lighting Contest inspired a lot of our neighbors and business owners to get into the holiday groove. I hear a lot of them were out decorating while I was whiling mornings away.  And when it comes to decorating the outside of your house, well, that’s surely best done when wide awake. This year’s contest announcement was in the Nov. 7 Boothbay Register. It’s for homeowners and businesses – deadline to enter is Nov. 22 for a chance at the $1,500 prize … and that’s “alotta cashola” guaranteed to have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree … am I right?! The judges will be looking for originality, effective use of color and the overall impact of the decorations.

I’ve gotta say, for decades Capt. Sawyer’s Place on Commercial Street has always looked gorgeous and classy – simply elegant. I also have to say that this time of year I really miss the Milt and Jan Van Vlack’s outdoor holiday decorations; sadly both of them have passed from this life, but their former house on Route 96, a few doors down from where the new Farm 23 is ... had  lights, a classic full-sized sleigh, candles in the windows ... kind of Currier & Ives-ish.

Right now I’m hearing Bing Crosby:  “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches; Your boughs so green in summertime, Stay bravely green in wintertime ...”

OK! So you’ve decided to enter the contest. Will you go classic white lights and greenery? Or paint your dooryard in strings of color lights? And, will you set the lights a-flickering, flashing, or just steady on? Will you channel your inner Clark Griswold or, alternatively, Whoville or Hogwarts? Perhaps just a classic flexible flyer sled like we kids of the 50s and early 60s had – adorned with a red ribbon and some holly lit by one flood light? Hmmmm ... I kinda like that last one ... What does your holiday spirit look like in lights?

One of my all-time favorite community decorations was the lobster trap tree Dawn Gilbert and company constructed and lit at Fishermen’s Memorial Park and on the Common. It would be beautiful in the Whale Park, too. Ah well ... since I don’t have access to any traps ... thank heaven for our mind’s eye, right?

As we enter this season of love and giving, feasting and dancing, singing and making music, remember to seek out some quiet time out on the trail, along Ocean Point Road, in the woods in your backyard ... day or night ... Nature is a gift every season and always a delight.

Now ... who’s ready for those turkey sales?