Where It’s At ... for holiday magic

Posted:  Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - 8:00am

Christmas bells are ringing while songs and hymns we’re singing. When we were kids, Christmas was the most magical time of the year, the most anticipated time of the year. Christmas trees, candles, baking, visiting Santa, going caroling with the local Girl or Boy Scout troops or a group from your church, those TV specials shown once a year (and in December, too, I might add) – “Rudolph,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” and “It’s A Wonderful Life,” broadcasts of Nutcracker ballets …

Some of us kids and our families donated clothes or food to charities, and helped raise money for organizations like the The Heifer Project, through our churches.

Neighborhoods filled with multicolored lights inside and outside our homes (and I’m talking the old fashioned big lights) … so beautiful. I can feel my eyes sparkling just thinking about those old days. Or maybe it's just the tinsel on the tree in my mind’s eye right now ...

Yule and Christmas: That time of year when the prelude is as exciting as the main event … yes the big dinner, which at our house always included an Italian main dish as well as a turkey, but … the presents! Coming downstairs and seeing presents under the tree … waiting for our grandparents to arrive – with more presents ... And then of course there was the birthday party in the late afternoon for my sister, Paula. Yep, around our house at Christmas, two birthdays were celebrated.

And on that note, here’s where it’s at … beginning with … Men’s Night – Dec. 21! Tick-tock holiday elves! Still have shopping to do? Keep your gift list local; bring the fam and head for the Harbor where shops, businesses and restaurants will be offering fantastic discounts. If you start to feel a bit peckish, but don’t (or can’t) stop shopping, outside Slicks Boutique on Townsend Avenue, Andy and Adele will be grilling up kielbasa with cheese ’n crackers and wine.

If that doesn’t give you the kick you need, since this is all happening on the Winter Solstice-Yule, teachers at Crow Point Yoga will be leading folks in 108 sun salutations to celebrate! Crow Point Yoga is on West Street – Dr. Jay’s old dental office – and you just might want to do this before the yummies outside (and inside) at Slicks!

Train and time travel enthusiasts should head to Boothbay Railway Village and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum for rides, exhibits, treats and more.

Saturday, Dec. 23, the WW&F Railway’s Victorian Christmas features steam and diesel train rides – free – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and sleigh rides (or wagon if the snow disappears!) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; however, the last sleigh ride departs at 2 p.m. WW& F is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is all spruced up for the season. Refreshments provided. If you’ve never been, it’s at 97 Cross Road in Alna. FMI: 882-4193.

The North Pole Express was so popular head elf Margaret Hoffman at BRV and the holiday elfin gang created a New Year’s Ride slated for Saturday, Dec. 30. Steam train rides start at 1 p.m. And, you must, simply must, take in the large model train and Christmas village exhibit in the Town Hall – and sip a yummy hot chocolate, and don’t forget to visit the Harrington House in all its 1940s Christmas glory. Call 633-4727 for ticket info and reservations – and I wouldn’t be too slow about it!

And if it’s Christmas lights you seek, you will find them – all 500,ooo of them – at Gardens Aglow, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ most magical event of the year (OK, the Fairy Fridays are pretty cool too). Be bedazzled this holiday season, Thursday through Sunday, 4-7 p.m. Shuttles are available. Get tickets online at www.mainegardens.org. Then take in all the lights in the Boothbay region. Businesses and families have gone all out to make your trip to our region one to remember during the Boothbay Festival of Lights! And there are plenty of restaurants to take care of those hunger pangs, too.

And if it’s art you desire ... well, we’ve got that too. The Boothbay region is an artist’s dream – inspiration at every turn. Most galleries are open til 5 p.m. or later. Many are walking distance and many are holding special holiday shows that include affordable art for gifts – or for yourself!

What would yuletide season be without that wondrous music; songs that stir the soul of each and every one of us. Certainly the local churches will be holding traditional Christmas Eve – that’s Dec. 24 - services. Don’t belong to a church? Don’t attend regularly? “Fegget about it” (hope you read that with an Italian accent)! You don’t need to. Just walk through the doors of any of the churches on the peninsula to sing beloved hymns including “Little Town of Bethlehem,” “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Joy to the World,” and the most beloved of all (just guessing) “Silent Night,” often sung by candlelight. There’s always been something magical about a Christmas Eve Service. Always. Don’t you agree?

Among the non-traditional tunes of the season, I’d have to say “The Christmas Song” – yes the one about chestnuts and an open fire – especially the Nat King Cole version – has always “done it” for me.

And so, with the old Perry Como Christmas album playing in my head, you are all wished the happiest, merriest, love-filled, blessed Christmas and/or Yule ever – from all of the gang at the Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper!

Next week: New Year’s Eve celebrations, dining hot spots, music, noise makers, and other merriment and revelry ...