It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas…” — from the classic Christmas song “Silver Bells,” first made popular by Bing Crosby in the 1950s.
If you’re of a certain age, “Silver Bells” might produce feelings of nostalgia, a yearning for the happiness of a former place or time, notes dictionary.com. Most of us have fond memories of past Christmases, and even today certain smells, snippets of music, or even watching snow falling can rekindle moments in time when we felt especially loved and cherished. During this most wonderful time of year, we’ve rounded up some nostalgic activities to help you enjoy the spirit of the season. Share these simple pleasures with friends and family members to double the fun. Bonus: Most are low cost or no cost!
- Christmas lights. Bundle up and take a walk around your neighborhood or drive around town and check out all the wonderful Christmas lights and decorations. Find outstanding displays at homes in Bethlehem, Littleton, Berlin and Gorham, and in other towns around the region. If you have trouble driving at night, enlist the aid of a younger family member to do the driving and sit back and enjoy the sights. Follow up the outing with hot cocoa and marshmallows.
- Christmas concerts. Many area churches, schools, and organizations schedule musical events throughout the holiday season, and most of them are free or very low cost. Invite a friend along.
- Bake cookies with the grandkids. Enjoy a great bonding time and a chance to share your holiday memories. And all those cookies you’re baking make inexpensive and welcome gifts for everyone on your list.
- Binge watch Christmas movies. Gather a couple of friends or the grandkids, fill a big bowl with popcorn and snuggle in to watch perennial favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. If you don’t own copies of the movies or have a subscription to a streaming service like Netflix, visit your local library and check out several of the holiday movies on their shelves.
- Choose a tree. In the North Country, you have lots of options when it comes to choosing the perfect tree for your home. You’ll find a variety of trees at grocery stores, big-box stores, and on lots manned by organizations like the Lions Club or Boy Scouts. Or head to a Christmas tree farm and choose and cut your own. Most of these places will help you load the tree onto your car. Share the outing with a friend or grandchild who can help you wrestle the tree into your house when you get home.
- Decorate the tree. Now that you have your tree home, put on some Christmas music, set out some drinks and snacks and invite family and friends to help you string the lights and decorate with ornaments you’ve collected through the years. There’s nothing quite so magical as a sparkly Christmas tree lighting up the corner of a room.
- Send Christmas cards. Connect with family and friends near and far by sending them a Christmas card to let them know you’re thinking of them during this special time of year.
- Holiday stories. Take a trip down memory lane for yourself or begin a new tradition with your grandkids or the neighborhood kids when you read aloud favorite holiday stories like The Night Before Christmas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, The Polar Express, The Gift of the Magi, or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If you don’t own copies of these books, once again your town’s library can help you out.
- The Nutcracker Ballet. Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and timeless music never fails to enchant as it brings to life the classic holiday story of The Nutcracker, in which young Clara falls asleep and dreams of a dashing Nutcracker Prince who battles the ferocious Mouse King. The ballet is performed in dozens of venues during the holiday season. If you live within driving distance of one of these productions order tickets and sit back and let the music and story transport you to the ultimate nostalgic time and place. If tickets are too expensive for your pocketbook, consider asking family members to purchase the tickets for you as this year’s Christmas gift.
Whatever you do and however you celebrate this month, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!